September 20, 2018
The Honorable Michael Pompeo
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Pompeo,
We write as 18 members of the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania business community – employers of all sizes and across industries – to express our support for refugees resettling in the United States. We urge you to consider the positive contributions refugees make in our communities as you determine the number of refugee entries for fiscal year 2019.
Refugees are vital to the continuing prosperity of our communities – they pay taxes, help grow our economy, and bring unique skill sets, experiences, and insights. They improve Lancaster County’s quality of life and are helping shape Pennsylvania’s opportunities for continued growth. Collectively, last year we hired over 328 refugees through our partnership with Church World Service.
CWS, headquartered in New York, NY, is a resettlement organization that is focused on providing assistance and resettlement services to those displaced by violence and discrimination. We support their mission to protect and enhance the lives of children and families around the world. To serve refugee families resettling in the United States, CWS/Lancaster has a network of nearly 100 businesses that employ refugees, helping them become productive and contributing residents. We value our refugee employees, and we hope to continue hiring refugees for years to come.
Because of the employment services CWS provides refugees, we have been able to hire dedicated workers who often have the desire and ability to move up in our companies. We have found that refugees are hardworking, motivated, and loyal employees. In addition, many refugees have contributed to Central Pennsylvania’s rich culture by starting their own businesses.
The contributions refugees make to our communities have helped Lancaster County thrive. Last year, CWS’s Refugee Employment Program placed 328 refugees with over 100 different employers. Last year alone, refugees collectively earned approximately $6,764,534.
We are proud that the United States has a reputation of providing hope to refugees – to those who have suffered from violent conflict, at the hands of terrorists, and as victims of trafficking or slavery. Not only does resettling refugees advance our nation’s historic ability to provide protection, ease suffering, and resolve the plight of persecuted and uprooted people, it strengthens our communities.
Thank you for considering our views and experience.
AmishView Inn and Suites
Angels On Call Home Care
Heidler Roofing Services, Inc.
Hendrix ISA, LLC
Lancaster Works at Assets, LLC
New Heights LLC D.B.A Equipter
Staff Management/Kalas Manufacturing
Stumptown Mennonite Church
Vantage Foods PA L.P.