TAKE ACTION: Urge Your Senators to Support Refugee Communities in COVID-19 Legislation

Action Alerts

Right now, Members of Congress are considering another package of COVID-19-related legislation to support communities during this difficult time. While we are grateful for measures Congress has taken to address the crisis, there remain unique challenges that refugees face and many were left out of previous packages. Crises test who we are as a nation – and we are stronger when we are united, extend compassion to our neighbors and listen to public health experts. It is imperative that our Senators, who are currently debating what will be in this package, hear that their constituents want to see meaningful solutions that support all of our neighbors, including refugee community members.

Click “Call Me” once on the right to be connected to your 2 Senators

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and [as a person of faith] I urge you to support refugee communities as you negotiate COVID-19 legislation. It is imperative that you support provisions that would:

  1. Provide $642 million for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) through the Refugee and Entrant Assistance account to ensure vulnerable populations like refugees don’t fall through the cracks and can receive housing, food, and the care they need.
  2. Ensure 2019 and 2020 refugee arrivals receive the stimulus cash payments.
  3. Automatically extend security check and immigrant visa validity periods and processing deadlines so that refugees and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa recipients are not harmed by COVID-19 disruptions to applications, renewal, and processing. 
  4. Waive (or at minimum permit remote) USCIS interviews for refugees applying for greencards – and direct USCIS to re-use biometric information to prevent further delays.
  5. Resume refugee admissions expeditiously consistent with general travel restrictions from refugees’ countries of residence and continue processing vulnerable refugees with acute protection needs.
  6. Pressure the administration to re-allocate refugee admissions to ensure the U.S. meets the FY2020 record-low admissions goal of 18,000.
  7. Ensure the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) increases reception and placement direct assistance by $1,000 per capita to strengthen direct support for recent and new arrivals, including and beyond their first 90 days of arrival, and support domestic resettlement infrastructure.

My community believes that we are stronger when we care for one another, including our refugee neighbors.”

Thank you for taking action- and please share this action alert with your networks!