The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program provides persecuted refugees with safe haven and a chance at a new life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides services to refugees to ease their transition to self-sufficiency in their new communities, while also serving asylees, victims of human trafficking and torture, Cuban-Haitian entrants, Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders, and unaccompanied alien children.
Over the past two years, record numbers of unaccompanied alien children have fled violence in Central America and arrived in the U.S. Due to this unanticipated increase, ORR urgently needs additional funding for the current fiscal year to provide services to all of the vulnerable migrants under its care. If ORR is not able to secure more funds in a Continuing Resolution, the road to self-sufficiency and integration could be hampered for thousands of refugees and other populations within our communities. In addition, the ORR funding that states, counties, and cities rely on to serve refugees would also be at risk.
Please join EMM and the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations, in partnership with Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), for a National Day of Action on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Supporters of refugee resettlement will be calling in from across the country, urging Congress to respond to the funding crisis currently facing America’s most vulnerable newcomers.
Please take a moment on Wednesday to call your two Senators and your Representative by dialing (202) 224-3121. You can also make an additional call to Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, at (202) 225-0600, to urge his leadership on this funding crisis facing refugees and vulnerable children in the United States.
After you call your members of Congress, follow-up with their staff members via email to provide any materials or information discussed, and to repeat your asks for their support of refugee resettlement funding. This can also serve as an opportunity to respond to questions asked during the meeting.
After you speak with someone from your Senator’s and Representative’s offices, email Katie Conway, Immigration and Refugee Policy Analyst in the Office of Government Relations, with an update and relevant information. Katie will also follow up with the staff person and office to echo the message.
You can also help spread the word about the Day of Action by sharing on your social media platforms. Use the hashtag #refugeefunding to help maximize the impact of your posts.
A sample script that you can use to communicate with your members of Congress, along with a number of sample social media posts and resources to inform your discussions, can be found on the RCUSA website. Thank you for your action and your support of refugees!