Written on: July 2, 2019
Throughout the month of June, refugee advocates pushed Congress to challenge the Administration’s refugee policy. Faith-based organizations sent letters to Members of Congress daily.
June 27th was the day LCWR’s letter (below) was sent to all 535 members. We are happy to share this with you and ask that you also continue to advocate for our sisters and brothers seeking asylum at the Border.
June 27, 2019
Dear Members of Congress,
Today, an unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world have been displaced by war, humanitarian crisis, extreme poverty, natural disasters, political repression, and religious persecution. Some 25.4 million are refugees; most of those refugees are children. On average, one person is forcibly displaced every two seconds. These neighbors of ours are quite literally fleeing for their lives.
The United States has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees. Women religious have been blessed to be able to accompany immigrant and refugee communities across this country for almost 300 years. Catholic sisters continue to welcome refugees who come to this country after passing through the U.S. government’s rigorous screening processes.
We object to the continued attempts by the administration and some members of Congress to undermine the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Resettlement is at an all-time low. President Trump set the FY2019 Presidential Determination (PD) at an unconscionably low 30,000, far below the 95,000 average admissions between 1980 and 2017. The Administration’s disregard for our nation’s moral responsibility places vulnerable refugees, including women and children, in extreme danger and violates our national values and religious beliefs.
On June 20, as we commemorate World Refugee Day, let us honor refugees’ strength and resilience, and celebrate their giftedness. Let us recommit our nation to providing leadership in response to the global refugee crisis; to funding refugee resettlement in the U.S. and refugee protection overseas; and to working with the international community to address the root causes of forced migration.
We ask you to help ensure that Congress provides adequate funding for refugee related accounts, both domestic and international. We call on you to demand that the administration meet its FY19 goal to resettle 30,000 refugees and to encourage the administration to commit to resettle at least 75,000 refugees in FY20.
We invite you to join your colleagues in co-sponsoring two bills currently before both Houses of Congress.
We promise you our continued prayers as together we seek to fulfill our moral obligation and the gospel mandate to welcome the stranger and care for those in need (Matthew 25).