TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to Celebrate World Refugee Day & Support Refugees & Other Displaced People

June 3, 2024

World Refugee Day—held annually on June 20th—is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the resilience and courage of those fleeing violence and persecution globally. It serves as a call to action for governments and communities to strengthen their efforts in providing safe haven, resources, and opportunities for refugees and other displaced people to rebuild their lives. 

The world currently faces the greatest displacement crisis in history: conflict, climate disaster, and persecution are expected to displace over 130 million people in 2024. Amid growing displacement crises including ongoing instability in Afghanistan and Ukraine, conflict in Sudan, deteriorating human rights and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, overwhelming gang violence in Haiti, the bombardment of Gaza, and many other violent and destabilizing crises around the world, the need for our nation’s elected leaders to make bold investments in welcoming infrastructure has never been clearer. As the global need for protection grows, it is incumbent upon elected officials at all levels of government to support refugees, unaccompanied children, asylum seekers and other newcomers and recognize the tremendous value they bring to our communities. 

As World Refugee Day approaches, join us in solidarity with forcibly displaced populations by taking action. See below for three ways to engage your elected leaders and call on them to expand our nation’s welcoming infrastructure and build stronger, more resilient pathways to protection and resettlement.

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 Template:

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 commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20th by voicing support for refugees in our community and advocating to increase our nation’s capacity to welcome through greater accountability measurements, robust legislation, and investments in resilient infrastructure. Specifically, I ask you to: 

  • Hold the administration accountable for strengthening the U.S. resettlement program and expanding paths to permanent protections. Congress must conduct needed oversight to sustainably strengthen the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program while maintaining high standards of care and upholding long standing protections for refugees, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied children enshrined in the bipartisan Refugee Act of 1980 and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. 
  • Invest in our capacity to welcome. I urge you to support robust funding to strengthen our communities’ capacity to welcome refugees and other newcomers so they can integrate and thrive in their new communities, including through strong investments in the Refugee and Entrant Assistance account and the Migration and Refugee Assistance account.
  • Endorse positive legislation that improves access to humanitarian protection and strengthens 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 Refugee Protection Act (reintroduction forthcoming), the Afghan Adjustment Act (S. 2327 / H.R. 4627), the Climate Displaced Persons Act (S.3340 / H.R.6455), and the House Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act (H.R. 1325)
  • Reject legislation and administrative action that would curtail access to asylum for vulnerable people seeking protection. Such actions from Congress or the administration would lead to tremendous human suffering and do nothing to improve the situation at the border. Instead Congress should turn toward solutions by investing in border shelter networks and community-based case management programs to ensure humane, effective migrant processing for those arriving at the border. 

Reestablishing and strengthening policies that welcome refugees and asylum seekers is crucial to building more inclusive communities. This World Refugee Day, I encourage you to support efforts that fortify our nation’s legacy of welcome. Thank you.

State/Local Advocacy: State and local leaders play a critical role in building more welcoming and inclusive communities. Commemorating World Refugee Day can help raise awareness for people in your own community who need resettlement aid. Host an advocacy event or invite your local leaders to issue a resolution or proclamation commemorating World Refugee Day.

Here are three steps to get involved:

  1. Look up your local elected officials at usa.gov/elected-officials. Reach out to them and tell them that your community welcomes refugees and urge them to sign this bipartisan letter
  2. Check out this sample 2024 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.
  3. Add your local World Refugee Day event to this World Refugee Day map! To have your event(s) added, visit this Google Form.

Amplify on Social Media
Share this message with local and national leaders on social media! Below are sample social media posts you can utilize and here are sample graphics you can share.

  • On #WorldRefugeeDay, we stand with refugees around the world. Every person deserves safety, dignity, and the chance to rebuild their lives. Today I call for more welcoming, more inclusive policies. We need Congress to do the same.
  • This #WorldRefugeeDay, we can support our refugee neighbors by:
    • Restoring & strengthening pathways to permanent protection
    • Rejecting anti-asylum policies & legislation
    • Investing in our capacity to welcome at the border & across the country
  • We are stronger with refugees. The time to build resilient resettlement and asylum infrastructure is now!
  • [@legislator] This #WorldRefugeeDay, I urge you to support the #RefugeeProtectionAct and #AfghanAdjustmentAct to help our neighbors access the protection and resources they need to thrive in their new homes! 

Additional Resources: