We are a country with a proud legacy of refugees and immigrants who helped found this nation, and we recognize the valuable contributions they bring to Virginia’s communities and the economy. Refugees are vital to the continuing prosperity of our state – they pay taxes, help grow our economy, and bring unique skill sets, experiences, and insights.
Your voice matters. We need bold leadership in Virginia to strengthen our ability to help all refugees integrate and thrive in their new communities. We urge Virginia’s policymakers to take action to support refugees’ integration through workforce development initiatives, and to improve English Language access for all immigrant communities across Virginia.
Contact Your Members of Congress Today!
Click “Send Email” on the right to contact your Delegates and Senators!
Sample Script/Email: “I’m your constituent from [city, town] and [as a person of faith/immigrant/refugee], I urge you to support the integration of immigrants and refugees in Virginia. We are a country with a proud legacy of refugees and immigrants who helped found this nation, and we recognize the valuable contributions they bring to Virginia’s communities and the economy. Refugees are vital to the continuing prosperity of our state – they pay taxes, help grow our economy, and bring unique skill sets, experiences, and insights. Virginia is an important destination for many refugees and Afghan evacuees, and I am looking to your leadership to help support their long-term integration and economic success.
I urge you to support the following priorities during the 2023 legislative session:
- Support and Enact Licensing Reform for Internationally-Credentialed Nurses: H.B. 2211 eases the barriers internationally trained nurses to practice in Virginia. From 2017 t0 2021, the top in demand healthcare job in Virginia was registered nurses. Many refugees and immigrant communities have nursing backgrounds, but remain unable to fully contribute their talents to the workforce because of systemic barriers, including the lack of recognition of their international education and experience, outdated occupational and professional re-credentialing processes, and insufficient access to meaningful workforce development and adult education services. For Virginia to remain competitive and address critical shortages of registered nurses, it will be crucial to implement policies that not only attract and retain global talent that is complementary to the U.S.-born workforce, but that also build career pathways for immigrants who already call the state home. This bill will reduce barriers for internationally-trained nurses to become licensed and practice in our state.
- Support and Enact Access to Opportunity for English Language Learners: A wide variety of schools across Virginia have high shares of English learners. For example, 15% of Accomack County and Richmond City’s students are English Learners, as well as 11% in Charlottesville. The following legislative proposals are critical to break down barriers experienced by English language learners: Championed by the Chairman of the House Education Committee, Delegate Glenn Davis, as well as Senator Ghazala Hashmi, bills H.B. 1824 and S.B.1118 create an incentive program for obtaining an endorsement in English as a second language, similar to Virginia’s existing National Board Certification incentives, which would boost the number of Virginia teachers who have the skills to help English language students succeed. Also championed by Delegate Glenn Davis and Senator Ghazala Hashmi, bills H.B. 1823 and S.B. 1109, provides support for English language students who enroll in CTE and apprenticeship programs, dual enrollment and AP courses, as well as IB Programs. These bills also provide the instructors with professional development in effective education of English language students, and will help make sure English language students have meaningful access to these important programs.
My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to uphold our moral imperative to welcome the sojourner and care for the most vulnerable among us. Thank you.”
Amplify on Social Media: Click here for graphics and here are some sample posts:
☑️help grow our economy
☑️bring unique skills & insights
Refugees make our country stronger. We need bold leadership in Virginia to strengthen our ability to help refugees thrive in their new communities.
- My community is better with refugees. They start businesses, pay taxes and contribute to our economy. We must support our refugee neighbors in Virginia to help them integrate and thrive in their new homes.
- Calling all VA lawmakers: we must support our refugee neighbors! It’s time to take action by reducing barriers to the workforce and improving English language access for ALL immigrant communities across Virginia so they can integrate and thrive in their new homes.
- It’s a fact: refugees greatly contribute to the communities that welcome them! Our Virginia policymakers must take action to reduce barriers in the workforce and improve English language access to help our refugee neighbors integrate and thrive.
Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your networks!