43 Durham Business Leaders Write Letter Expressing Support for Refugees

October 1, 2018

September 12, 2018

The Honorable Thom Tillis

U.S. Senator

185 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Sen. Thom Tillis,

We write as 43 members of the North Carolina 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 our Triangle’s quality of life and are helping shape North Carolina’s opportunities for continued growth. Collectively, we have hired over 2,261 refugees since 2009 through our partnership with Church World Service (CWS).

CWS is a resettlement organization that is focused on providing assistance and resettlement services to those displaced by violence and discrimination, headquartered in New York, NY. 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 has a network of nearly 82 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 North Carolina’s rich culture by starting their own businesses.

The contributions refugees make to our communities have helped the Triangle thrive. In 2017, CWS’s Refugee Employment Program placed refugee clients in 457 jobs with over 130 employers. Last year alone, refugees collectively earned approximately $7 million in wages.

We are proud that the United States has a reputation of providing help 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 experiences.


9th Street Computer Cellar
Agape Lawn Company
Al Huda Academy
Aloft Durham Downtown
Anderson Painting and Power Washing
Blue Corn Cafe
Bull City Burger and Brewery
Bull City Escape
Catherine French Design
Childcare Matters
Christ Central Church
Cocoa Cinnamon
Days Inn Glenwood Crabtree
Fount Coffee + Kitchen
Goorsha LLC
Greenway Irrigation
Hampton Inn & Suites Durham North I-85
Happy + Hale
Happy + Hale
Hilton Durham near Duke University
Hilton Garden Inn Durham-University Medical Center
Marble Unlimited, Inc
Melina’s Fresh Pasta
NC Stone Encounters, LLC.
One World Market
Painting Concepts LLC
Picnic Restaurant
Pompieri Pizza
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (Durham)
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (Raleigh)
Residence Inn Hotel by Marriott
Simplicity Design & Professional Organizing, LLC
Student U
TCs of Durham
The Refectory Cafe
The Umstead Bar and Lounge
Topbuild/Truteam/triCity/Eastern Insulation
Vaguely Reminiscent