Yesterday, reports surfaced that the administration intends to set the refugee admissions goal for next fiscal year at 18,000– the lowest level in U.S. history, and released a new executive order that permits state and local officials to block resettlement in their communities. Last year, the administration set an historically low refugee admissions goal at 30,000 – in the face of the worst refugee crisis in global history. Since the resettlement program began, the annual goal has averaged 95,000 refugees.
By law, the administration must consult with Congress by the end of September, prior to setting the refugee admissions goal, which means Members of Congress can and must make their voices heard. It is critical that members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, who are in charge of consulting with the administration, hear us strongly condemn a low admissions goal, especially of 18,000, and call for a robust refugee admissions goal of 95,000 in FY20.
It’s also a critical time to urge your Governor, Mayor, and other state and local elected leaders to publicly demonstrate their support for refugee resettlement.
Here are the top three ways to take action:
(1) Call House and Senate Judiciary Committee Members Today: Here’s a sample script: “I’m a concerned community member (and person of faith) and I urge you to protect the refugee resettlement program from another drastic cut by the administration. The administration is considering setting the refugee admissions goal for next year at a new historic low of 18,000. By law, the administration must consult with Congress prior to setting the refugee admissions goal, which means that as a member of the Judiciary Committee, you are uniquely poised to ensure that the administration fulfills its obligation to consult with Congress ahead of deciding how many refugees to welcome in FY20. The administration also released an unlawful and discriminatory executive order that would allow states and localities to deny refugee resettlement in their community. Please do everything in your power to see that the administration commits to resettling 95,000 refugees in 2020. My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to reflect the best of our nation by supporting refugee resettlement.”
Committee & Subcommittee Leadership:
- Senate Full Committee Chair (South Carolina): Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): 202-224-5972 / @LindseyGrahamSC
- Senate Full Committee Ranking Member (California): Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): 202-224-3841 / @SenFeinstein
- Senate Immigration Subcommittee Chair (Texas): Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): 202-224-2934 / @JohnCornyn
- Senate Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member (Illinois): Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): 202-224-2152 / @SenatorDurbin
- House Full Committee Chair (New York): Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10): 202-225-5635 / @RepJerryNadler
- House Full Committee Ranking Member (Georgia): Representative Doug Collins (R-GA-09): 202-225-9893 / @RepDougCollins
- House Immigration Subcommittee Chair (California): Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19): 202-225-3072 / @RepZoeLofgren
- House Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member (Colorado): Representative Ken Buck (R-CO-04): 202-225-4676 / @RepKenBuck
(2) Urge your state and local elected leaders to demonstrate support for refugee resettlement in your community. Urge them to issue statements denouncing this unjust executive order and the low refugee admissions goal and urge them to sign onto this joint letter and/or send their own letters to administration officials and their Senators and Representative(s) using this sample draft to support refugees in your community and urge the administration to commit to resettling 95,000 refugees in 2020!
(3) Amplify on Social Media: Don’t forget to tweet at your Members of Congress. Here are some sample posts:
- .[@memberofcongress]: America must remain a country of welcome. Please do your part to see that the administration commits to resettling 95,000 refugees in FY 2020. #RefugeesWelcome #Welcome95k
- .[@memberofcongress]: Refugee resettlement is a core American legacy that allows people to rebuild their lives. My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to reflect the best of our nation by supporting refugee resettlement. #RefugeesWelcome #Welcome95k
- .[@memberofcongress]: Thousands of refugee families are being torn apart because America has closed its doors to them. Please show your support for refugee resettlement. #RefugeesWelcome #Welcome95k
- My community [name of town] is a welcoming one. We need [@local official/governor] to join us in saying #refugeeswelcome and #norefugeebans