Right now, Congress is negotiating federal funding legislation for the upcoming fiscal year, FY 2024, which starts October 1st. This is particularly important because September 30th marks the end of the current fiscal year, and if funding legislation isn’t passed by then, the federal government would shut down. Now is a critical time to call for robust investments in the U.S. resettlement program and equipping our communities with the resources they need to help newcomers integrate and thrive.
In Florida, it is particularly important to call for funding and support for the U.S. resettlement program through both the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). ORR, which is funded through the Refugee and Entrant Assistance (REA) Account, supports the long-term integration and economic success of our communities and displaced newcomers – including refugees and arriving Cubans and Haitians – who are rebuilding their lives. PRM is funded through the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) Account to support the resettlement infrastructure that works in communities and partners with community leaders when welcoming refugee arrivals.
ORR funds refugee support services that facilitate vital integration, employment, and health programs to assist new arrivals in gaining self-sufficiency and a sense of belonging in their new homes. The funding from the account goes directly to state and local communities through initiatives like the Refugee School Impact Program, which supports local schools in providing integration services to their refugee students. PRM’s funding bolsters refugee integration by creating a network of competent providers who devote their time and expertise to bringing communities together and serving our refugee neighbors.
Florida has stood out for resettling an increasing number of refugees and welcoming a large number of Cuban and Haitian entrants. This means that over the last several years, Floridian communities have also received significant support from the federal government and especially the Refugee and Entrant Assistance Account to help these newcomers get on their feet. But funds are running out.
Join us in calling on members of Congress from Florida to ensure robust funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Refugee and Entrant Assistance account and continue the legacy of welcome that has made Florida and its communities stronger.
CONTACT YOUR TWO SENATORS AND ONE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!
On the right hand side, you can send an email or make a phone call that connects you to your Members of Congress.
Sample Script/Email: “My name is [insert name], and as your constituent from [City/Town] and a [person of faith/refugee/member of my community], I urge you to support provisions in an upcoming Fiscal Year 2024 funding package that live up to our legacy as a nation of welcome. Specifically, I urge you to support the LHHS Refugee and Entrant Assistance Account and the SFOPS Migration and Refugee Assistance Account, which directly supports Floridian communities.
I am proud to say that Florida has been a leader in welcoming refugees and Cuban and Haitian migrants, which means our communities benefit significantly from the critical refugee support services provided by the REA and MRA accounts. These funds go directly to state and local communities through initiatives like ORR’s Refugee School Impact Program, which supports local schools in providing integration services to their refugee students. They also support vital integration, employment, and health programs across the state and provide an infrastructure for refugees to get on their feet in the first months after they resettle.
Even if current rates are maintained, funding for these accounts is running out. This will have a direct impact on Florida communities and schools. I urge you to support the $1.9 billion in REA funding in the administration’s anomaly request (in addition to the $100 million request for REA to support Ukrainian arrivals) and the $1.232 billion in MRA funding in the administration’s supplemental request. More details about critical priorities for a Continuing Resolution are available here: https://bit.ly/RCUSAFY24CRPriorities.
During ongoing negotiations, we need you to represent our communities and ensure any funding package includes additional support for the U.S. resettlement program and Florida refugees. Thank you.”
Amplify on Social Media: Share this message with your Senators & Representatives on social media! Here are some sample posts and graphics:
- @legislator, Refugees make Florida communities strong – we need Congress to invest in refugee support services and resettlement infrastructure to help newcomers integrate and thrive.
- @legislator Refugee support services help new arrivals integrate and thrive – we need you to stand up for Florida communities and call for robust funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
- Budgets are moral documents – in ongoing funding conversations Congress must invest in our capacity for welcome and support the Refugee Entrant Assistance and Migration and Refugee Assistance Accounts! #RefugeesWelcome
- With unprecedented and growing forced migration around the world, the need for a robust resettlement program is more pressing than ever. Congress, we must meet this moment and invest in refugee resettlement!
- Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Refugee and Entrant Assistance Account
- RCUSA Refugee Funding Priorities for Fiscal Year 2024 Continuing Resolution
- SFOPS Appropriations for Refugee Assistance & Solutions (FY 2024)
- Labor-HHS Appropriations for Refugee Integration and Survivor Success (FY 2024)
- Homeland Security/Humanitarian Needs (FY 2024)
- FY 2024 RCUSA Appropriations Oversight Bill & Report Language Requests
- Rebuilding Refugee Resettlement Toolkit
- CWS 2023 Policy Asks
- Refugee and Newcomer Housing Policy Asks
- Church World Service Press Release on Reintroduction of Afghan Adjustment Act
- Afghan Adjustment Act Reintroduction Senate Press Release
- CWS Policy Asks for 2023 August Recess
- Avoiding Government Shutdown Crucial to Supporting Affordable Housing | NLIHC