TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to Welcome Refugees & Rebuild the U.S. Resettlement Program

July 29, 2022

In August, U.S. Representatives and Senators are in their home states and districts for their in-district work period (July 29th-September 12th for the House and August 5th-September 5th for the Senate).  Even if you can’t meet with your Members of Congress in person, you can still make your voices heard and call or email them, urging them to welcome refugees. 

Here is the new August Recess Toolkit for resources on how you can take action. Here are the best ways to join us:

  1. Meet with Your Members of Congress: To set up in-person or virtual legislative visits with your 2 Senators and 1 Representative, check out the August recess toolkit how-to guide and these policy priorities.
  2. Call / Email Your Members of Congress: Share this action alert with the sample script (below) with your networks and invite them to make their voices heard.
  3. Amplify Your Message: Share your asks on social media (sample posts below) – as well as with state and local legislators (state and local elected leader letter is below).

Join us in calling on Congress to hold President Biden accountable to set a refugee admissions goal of 200,000 in FY 2023, to commit to a robust investment in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), pass an Afghan Adjustment Act so that our new Afghan neighbors have an opportunity to apply to become lawful permanent residents, and ensure a full restoration of asylum protections & reject all anti-asylum proposals.

Contact Your Members of Congress Today!
Email or Call your 2 Senators and 1 Representative.

Sample Script/Email: “My name is [insert name], I’m your constituent from [city, state], and [as a person of faith/ as a person who cares about refugees/as a refugee], I urge you to hold the administration accountable to:

  • Set an FY23 refugee admissions goal of 200,000, in line with global need, before September 30th. An admissions goal of 200,000 will signal to the world that the United States is serious about restoring moral leadership and will show allies that we’re committed to doing our part. 
  • Meaningfully consult with Congress, as mandated by the Refugee Act of 1980, ahead of formally signing the Presidential Determination.
  • Invest in necessary improvements to rebuild and strengthen the U.S. resettlement program, including streamline refugee processing, addressing the refugee backlog, rebuilding the overseas and domestic infrastructure, and appointing a senior-level White House coordinator.

I further call on you to:

  • Robustly invest in the U.S. resettlement program in the anticipated Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 continuing resolution (CR) by allocating $4 billion for the REA account (LHHS), $1.55 billion for the MRA account (SFOPS), $50 million for the ERMA account (SFOPS), and $300 million for USCIS (DHS)
  • Cosponsor and pass the Afghan Adjustment Act (S.4787/H.R.8685) — and hold the administration accountable to create a designated parole program for Afghans and continue relocating at-risk Afghans who are left behind.
  • Urge the administration to welcome people with dignity by immediately ending the use of the unlawful and immoral Title 42 policy, oppose anti-asylum legislation that would make Title 42 more permanent, and fully restore asylum protections.

All people deserve to live in safety, and an investment in the U.S. resettlement program is vital to welcome people from all parts of the world who are in urgent need of resettlement and protection, many of whom have been waiting for years to access safety. My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to do the same. Thank you.” 

Amplify on Social Media: Share this message with your Senators & Representatives on social media! Here are some sample posts:

  • We must #WelcomeWithDignity and ensure that unaccompanied children are safe, housed and cared for. #StopExpulsions #EndTitle42 
  • Join us in making sure the US continues its welcoming legacy and resettles #refugees. #RefugeesWelcome
  • [@legislator], I’m calling on you to hold the administration accountable. Let’s be the leader in welcoming our refugee neighbors and help them thrive in their new homes! #RefugeesWelcome

The Evacuate Our Allies (EOA) coalition is hosting weeks of action from August 1st – August 15th commemorating the one-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and continuing to demand that Congress passes an Afghan Adjustment Act. Here is the week of action toolkit with digital resources, links to EOA member organization actions, and policy resources that you can use/adapt. 

The National Immigration Forum is also hosting a day of action for Afghan relocations on Monday, August 15th, on the 1-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul. Here is a social media toolkit, which also includes social media graphics.

Urge Your State and Local Leaders to Support Refugees
Tell your governors, state legislators, and local elected leaders to sign onto a letter that calls on President Biden to meet his commitment to resettle refugees, and in the upcoming fiscal year by ensuring that the resettlement program is sufficiently resourced and responsive to emergent humanitarian needs. The deadline to sign the letter is August 29, 2022. Please contact outreach@refugeeadvocacylab.org with any questions. Officials can sign onto this letter here. You can contact your state and local leaders by clicking here.

The need for long-term protections for refugees has never been greater. The world is facing record displacement figures of more than 100 million people who have been forced from their homes. Now is a critical time to hold the administration accountable to rebuilding and strengthening the U.S. resettlement program and improve our humanitarian response to emerging and protracted displacement crises around the world.

Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your networks!