World Refugee Day on June 20th provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the strength and courage of all those around the world who have been forced to flee their homes. It is also a critical time to join in collective action and advocacy in support of refugees, including those who have resettled in the U.S, who are seeking protection at the border, and who remain overseas.
We face unprecedented and growing forced displacement around the world, including ongoing refugee crises resulting from conflict in Sudan, war and natural disaster in Syria, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Meanwhile, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) remains in the midst of a prolonged rebuild after being decimated by Trump-era cuts. The current administration has often relied on temporary pathways like humanitarian parole to respond to humanitarian emergencies at the expense of building stronger, more flexible, more permanent refugee and asylum systems.
In the lead up to World Refugee Day 2023, stand in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers – and urge our national leaders to be vocal in their support of expanding our nation’s capacity to welcome, such as through needed oversight, positive legislation, and robust funding.
CONTACT YOUR TWO SENATORS AND ONE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!
On the right-hand side, you can send an email or receive a phone call that connects you to your Members of Congress.
Sample Email/Script: “As your constituent from [CITY/TOWN] and [a person of faith/refugee/ member of my community], I urge you to commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20th by voicing support for refugees in our community and doing everything in your power to expand our nation’s capacity to welcome, such as through needed oversight, positive legislation, and robust investments. Specifically, I urge you to:
- Hold the administration accountable for strengthening the U.S. resettlement program and strengthen permanent protections. Congress must conduct needed oversight to ensure we resettle as many people this year as possible and uphold bipartisan protections for refugees, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied children enshrined in the Refugee Act of 1980 and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
- Invest in our capacity to welcome. Congress must provide robust funding to fully rebuild capacity for refugee resettlement and help refugees and other forcibly displaced persons to integrate and thrive in their new communities. Congress must also invest in border shelter networks and community-based case management programs to ensure humane, effective migrant processing for those arriving at the border.
- Endorse positive legislation that improves access to humanitarian protection and our communities’ ability to help refugees integrate and thrive. I urge you to support bills that would live up to our values and restore and strengthen protections for displaced persons, including the Afghan Adjustment Act and the Refugee Protection Act.
Welcoming the least of these and the persecuted is a core tenet of our nation’s values. On World Refugee Day, I encourage you and your office to join in the great American tradition of welcome. Thank you.”
Amplify on Social Media: Share this message with national leaders on social media! Below are some sample social media posts and here you can find some sample graphics:
- This #WorldRefugeeDay, I stand alongside those who have been displaced to call for more welcoming, more inclusive policies. We need Congress to do the same.
- My community welcomes refugees! This World Refugee Day, we can honor our refugee neighbors by:
- Restoring and strengthening pathways to permanent protection
- Rejecting anti-asylum policies and legislation
- Investing in our capacity to welcome through refugee resettlement, at the border, and across the country
- There are over 100 million people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes, more than at any other time in history. On #WorldRefugeeDay, stand in support of refugees and support more welcoming policies.
- ️☑️ ️It’s a fact: the United States is stronger with refugees. We need to welcome our refugee neighbors and recognize their many contributions. The time to support resettlement and asylum protections is NOW! #WorldRefugeeDay
- It’s time to rebuild the U.S.’s capacity to welcome with our refugee neighbors in mind. We’re ready to reestablish our moral leadership by welcoming our neighbors in search of safety and supporting them as they integrate and thrive in their new communities. #WorldRefugeeDay
- This #WorldRefugeeDay, let’s pass the #RefugeeProtectionAct and #AfghanAdjustmentAct to help our neighbors access the protection and services they need to thrive in their new homes!
State & Local Advocacy: Your state and local leaders also play a critical role in building more welcoming, more inclusive communities. They need to hear about how they can commemorate World Refugee Day with words and actions in support of refugees and others who have been displaced. Check out the following resources to advocate at the state and local level, such as inviting state and local elected leaders to issue a resolution or proclamation commemorating World Refugee Day.
Here are three steps to get involved:
- Look up your local elected officials at http://contactingcongress.org/local and usa.gov/elected-officials.
- Follow along with this Welcoming Refugees 2023 Toolkit for state and local engagement, including sample emails and call scripts for contacting your state and local elected officials.
- Check out this sample 2023 State/Local World Refugee Day Resolution/Proclamation, adapt it for your state or local community, and ask your state and local elected officials to introduce or issue a resolution or proclamation. You can also ask them to share public statements or social media with their support for refugee community members.
- Add your local World Refugee Day event to this World Refugee Day map! To have your event(s) added, visit this Google Form.
- 2023 UNHCR World Refugee Day Toolkit
- 2023 We Are All America World Refugee Day Toolkit
- RCUSA Priorities for the 118th Congress
- Refugee Resettlement 101
- FY 2024 Funding Backgrounders for Refugee Accounts (LHHS, SFOPS, and USCIS)
- One Pager on Office of Refugee Resettlement
- U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration & Refugee Services World Refugee Day Toolkit