TAKE ACTION: Urge Members of Congress to Welcome Refugees and Support the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program

February 27, 2023

January marked the start of a new session in Congress, and the need for robust refugee and asylum protections is more pressing than ever. Growing violence, persecution, human rights violations, and strife around the world has forced over 100 million people to flee their homes, a record number. The U.S. resettlement program has long stood as a shining example of the power of welcome. Millions of refugees have integrated and thrived in the United States and contributed immensely to their new communities. 

Today, refugees hoping to find permanent safety or reunite with family in the United States face an arduous process that takes several years, made worse by significant family reunification and other backlogs. As the Biden administration works to rebuild the U.S. resettlement program that had been devastated by the previous administration, it is more important than ever that Congress invests in our nation’s capacity to welcome and holds the administration accountable to strengthening the U.S. resettlement program.

The FY 2023 refugee admissions goal is set at 125,000 — an ambitious figure that we should be striving to achieve. However, in the first four months of the fiscal year, fewer than 10,000 refugees had been resettled. This is a stark reminder that we need bold leadership from our national leaders to restore and strengthen our resettlement program, such that it can once again serve as a beacon of hope to those around the world who have fled violence and persecution.

On the right-hand side, you can send an email that connects you to your Members of Congress!

Sample Email/Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and [as a person of faith/refugee/member of my community], I urge you to support refugee resettlement in the 118th Congress, including by:

  • Holding the administration accountable to fully restore and strengthen the U.S. resettlement program. Congress must conduct needed oversight to ensure as many refugees as possible are resettled this year. The FY 2023 refugee admissions goal was set at 125,000 — an ambitious figure we should be striving for. With fewer than 10,000 refugees resettled in the first four months of the fiscal year, it is imperative that Congress push for the needed reforms that expand the number of refugees we help find lasting protection.
  • Supporting robust federal funding for refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. Congress sets the budget each year for federal agencies responsible for the refugee resettlement program. Congress must provide robust funding for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM), the Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS/ORR), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS Humanitarian Programs), and related accounts to fully rebuild capacity for refugee resettlement and allow refugees to thrive. 
  • Enacting positive legislation that supports our local communities and strengthens the U.S. refugee resettlement program. We urge Members of Congress to reintroduce, support, and cosponsor bills that would restore and expand protections for refugees, improve overseas assistance and refugee processing, and buttress the domestic resettlement infrastructure, such as the Afghan Adjustment Act and the Refugee Protection Act. 

A robust refugee resettlement program is vital to respond to global humanitarian and foreign policy needs, and it helps strengthen our community right here at home. Refugee resettlement underpins our legacy as a nation of welcome, and I urge you to work to welcome refugees and rebuild the resettlement program in the new Congress. Thank you.”

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

  • With growing displacement around the world, we MUST prioritize rebuilding our refugee resettlement program. #RefugeesWelcome
  • [@legislator], I’m calling on you to hold our administration accountable for supporting and restoring our refugee resettlement system. Refugees make our communities strong, join me in committing to welcome!
  • In a changing world, we must uphold and live up to our legacy as a nation of welcome. That begins with supporting our refugee resettlement program #refugees #RefugeesWelcome
  • The need for robust refugee and asylum protections is more pressing than ever. With more than 100 million people who have been forced to flee their homes, we MUST invest in the U.S.’s capacity to welcome.
  • It’s a fact: refugees make our communities stronger! Congress: support robust federal funding for our refugee neighbors and help ensure they have the best opportunity to integrate and thrive in their new homes.
  • There are more than 100 MILLION people who have been forcibly displaced—that’s the highest number in history. It’s past time we provide the support that our global neighbors need! We must prioritize welcoming our refugee and asylum seeking neighbors.

Additional Resources