Sign-On Letter from Community Sponsors and Volunteers Welcoming Refugees
Dear Members of Congress, State Elected Officials and Secretary Pompeo,
As faith communities and people of conscience, we implore you to restore the refugee resettlement program. For decades, faith communities and caring people from different traditions have provided support, guidance, and friendship to refugees as they integrate into the United States. In the aftermath of World War II, faith communities laid the foundation for what later became the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) when Congress enshrined the program into law with the Refugee Act of 1980. It is a public private partnership of which all Americans can be proud.
We have actively welcomed refugees to our own communities, partnering with our local resettlement agencies through volunteerism and community sponsorship. We have helped to furnish homes, assisted with rent, tutored families in English, and offered our friendship. As volunteers and community sponsors, we have given our time and resources to support refugees in their integration into the United States, and we can say, without question, that it has been a worthwhile investment. The refugees we resettled have become our coworkers, neighbors, and friends.
As faith communities we are motivated to welcome and sponsor by our sacred texts which remind us to love our neighbor and welcome the sojourner among us, and as people of conscience, we are motivated to sponsor by our American values. Our generosity and compassion is what makes this country great and we believe that helping refugees is essential to what it means to be an American.
Since taking office, the administration has already reduced refugee admissions by 75%. To further reduce or even zero out the program, as some officials have proposed, would devastate the lives of thousands of refugees who have already been approved to resettle and would negatively impact U.S. diplomatic credibility. We urge the administration to restore the refugee resettlement program to historic norms and commit to resettling 95,000 refugees in FY 2020 (the historic average). It is a moral atrocity to turn our backs on persecuted people at a time when there are over 25 million refugees, more than at any other time in history. An end to the U.S. refugee program would have long-term global and domestic implications on regional stability and the future of migrant protection.
We urge you to return to the historic norm of setting a goal of resettling 95,000 refugees per year. We have committed our time, labor, resources, and prayers to the welcome and support of refugees, and we know that there are countless volunteers, congregations, and community groups across the country, like ours, that stand ready to do the same. We cannot allow this program to end at a time when it is so desperately needed.
Please Sign On by Monday, September 23rd
Have you or your congregation/ organization ever been involved in helping resettle or welcome a refugee family! We want to know!
Co Sponsorship, welcome team and/or organized a welcoming group for Refugees
Volunteered to welcome refugees
Donated money or material goods
Programming in support of refugee integration
Participated in an event or activity in support of refugees
Please share an experience about how welcoming a refugee has been transformative for you and/or your congregation.
Can we contact you to share your story?
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