TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to Support Refugees in August and September

August 25, 2023

As we near the end of summer, we are entering a particularly critical time of year for advocacy efforts on behalf of refugees and rebuilding the U.S. refugee admissions program. 

Each September, the President sets a target for the number of refugees to be resettled in the following fiscal year (which begins October 1) in the form of a Presidential Determination (PD). The PD also represents an opportunity for Congress (particularly members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees) to meaningfully consult with the administration on the admissions goal, and to hold the administration accountable for addressing processing delays and capacity constraints that continue to slow the program down. 

August and early September is also a time when members of Congress return to their home districts and states, often holding town halls and making themselves available to constituents. This makes the coming weeks an important time to reach out to local congressional offices and advocate on behalf of refugees and other newcomers in your community.

Here are three ways to join us and take action in support of refugees and refugee resettlement during this important time!

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 take action in the coming weeks to welcome refugees and support the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Specifically, I urge you to:

  • Hold the administration accountable for setting a refugee admissions goal of at least 135,000 – in line with global need – before September 30. During required Congressional consultations on the admissions goal and in annual appropriations negotiations, I also urge you to work with the administration on the reforms and investment needed to rebuild the resettlement system and to address capacity constraints and processing delays.
  • Support legislation that welcomes refugees and strengthens access to permanent protections. I urge you to support the bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act (S.2327/H.R. 4627), which would establish a clear and streamlined path for displaced Afghans to apply for permanent status in the U.S. and expand pathways to protection for those who remain left behind and at risk.
  • Ensure robust funding for the refugee resettlement program and the humane welcome of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. I urge you to support critical refugee accounts in upcoming appropriations bills and emergency supplementals, including the LHHS Refugee and Entrant Assistance Account, the SFOPS Migration and Refugee Assistance Account, and the SFOPS Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Account. 

With an unprecedented and growing number of individuals forcibly displaced around the world, now is the time to exhibit humanitarian leadership and commit to policies of welcome. My community welcomes refugees – I urge you to do the same.”


Members of the House of Representatives are on recess and at home visiting their districts until Tuesday, September 12. Members of the Senate are on recess until Tuesday, September 5. During this time, many members hold public events or town halls and conduct meetings with constituents. Here are some tools to meet with your members of Congress during the August recess and urge them to welcome refugees and support the rebuild of the refugee admissions program. 

  • Find and attend your member of Congress’s town hall or local event. While there is no public repository of all congressional town halls or events, you can find them by monitoring social media accounts of your elected official, navigating to the “press releases” and “events” section of official websites, and signing up for mailing lists. 
  • Call or email your member of Congress to share your perspective and set up a meeting. Call or email the local offices of your representative or Senators. You can share your perspective by using the call and email tools above, or reach out to set up a meeting by using the contact information for your representative here and your Senators here.
  • Advocate for key and timely policy asks on behalf of refugees and other newcomers. Find the CWS Policy Asks for the 2023 August Recess here.


Share this message with national leaders on social media! See below for sample social media posts.

1. @legislator My community welcomes refugees and recognizes a robust refugee resettlement program keeps our communities strong, creates jobs, and strengthens national security. I urge you to do the same. 

2. [@legislator] Here are three ways you can welcome refugees:

  • Rebuild the refugee resettlement program
  • Pass legislation like the Afghan Adjustment Act
  • Invest in and support critical refugee accounts in the appropriations process

3.  @legislator The data is clear: A robust refugee resettlement program benefits our communities at every level. With growing displacement around the world, we must live up to our values and rebuild our refugee admissions program. #RefugeesWelcome 

4. In the 1980s and 1990s, the U.S. regularly resettled well over 100,000 – even 200,000 – refugees each year. Now we are struggling to get past 50,000. 

It is long past time for @legislator and @potus to act and rebuild our resettlement program! 

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