[Episcopal Public Policy Network policy alert] More than 4 million Syrians have been forced from their home due to the conflict in Syria that is now in its fourth year, and according to the UNHCR the number of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide has reached its highest point since WWII. As we watch record-breaking numbers of refugees enter neighboring countries and are faced with heartbreaking stories and photos of refugees seeking safety, now is the time to take action.
As a global leader in refugee resettlement, the United States must do all that it can to welcome Syrians to the United States. In the first 11 months of fiscal year 2015, the United States has received just over 1,200 Syrians. President Obama recently called for the US to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016. While this is an important step, we can and must do more.
Through Episcopal Migration Ministries, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society has been engaged in the ministry of welcoming immigrants and refugees for more than a century, walking with refugees and immigrants as they begin their new lives in our communities. It is through this ministry and through our membership in the 80-million member worldwide Anglican Communion that we have witnessed firsthand the suffering of refugees around the world and the positive impact that resettled refugees play in our communities here in the United States.