On World Refugee Day, CWS Calls on Congress to Honor Our History of Welcome

June 20, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2019       

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On World Refugee Day, CWS Calls on Congress to Honor Our History of Welcome

Refugee admissions have fallen by 75% over the last two years. We must do better.

Washington, D.C. – Today, communities across the U.S. are celebrating World Refugee Day,  which honors refugees and the numerous contributions they have made to our communities. It is also a day where we renew our longstanding responsibility to welcome those seeking safety, including those who have been negatively impacted by the Trump administration’s Muslim bans, refugee bans, and asylum ban.

CWS President and CEO, Rev. John L. McCullough, issued the following statement:

“Today, on World Refugee Day, I join with faith communities across the United States to celebrate and welcome refugees with open arms and open hearts. The Bible says that we must “welcome strangers, for thereby some have welcomed angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 3). Resettled refugees have enriched their new hometowns: starting businesses, becoming doctors and teachers, volunteering and even serving in government.

“Unfortunately, some American leaders have either forgotten or chosen to ignore our country’s history and have shut their doors to refugees. President Trump has reduced refugee admissions by 75% over the last two years. As a result, thousands of refugees have been unable to seek safety in the United States. Many families have also been heartbreakingly separated, with fathers and mothers unable to be present for key milestones in their children’s lives.

“We can and must do better. CWS calls on Congress to do everything in its power to restore the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. We urge Congress to hold the administration accountable to returning the refugee admissions goal to the historic average of 95,000 refugees. We also urge Members of Congress to cosponsor and support two pieces of legislation – the GRACE Act (S.1088 & H.R.2146) and the NO BAN Act (S.1123 & H.R.2214) – which would be a step toward this vision.

“Because standing up for refugees is simply the moral thing to do.”

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our refugee and immigrant work at GreaterAs1.org.