Stop Refugee Resettlement Cuts
The Value of a Mandate in Support of Refugee Resettlement
In response to the Administration’s recent decision to decrease the number of refugee resettlements to 18,000 from an average of 95,000 for the past several decades, we urge all of you to support the GRACE Act, which establishes a minimum number of refugees who will be resettled in the U.S. each year in keeping with historic norms. We strongly believe we need to uphold America’s legacy of welcoming refugees. We advocate for the GRACE Act for the following reasons:
Refugee Resettlement is a lifeline that the US provides for the most vulnerable refugees at a time of unprecedented global crisis:
- The majority of refugees are hosted in developing countries; resettlement is a relatively modest – yet lifesaving – way for America to demonstrate its support for people fleeing persecution and the countries hosting them.
- Resettlement also upholds America’s commitment for the interpreters, translators, cultural advisors, and others who have risked their lives to support U.S. military and diplomatic missions abroad, many of whom have since been targeted for this support.
- Welcoming refugees sets a positive example for other countries to follow, helping to ensure pro-refugee policies in countries hosting the majority of refugees, thereby discouraging premature and unsafe return that only further cycles of violence, instability, and displacement.
- In September, 27 retired senior U.S. military leaders wrote an unprecedented letter to President Trump, highlighting the importance of resettlement to America’s national security and urging him to commit to welcoming at least 95,000 refugees over the coming year.
Refugees strengthen the economy:
- While the primary purpose of refugee resettlement is humanitarian, it also has positive economic effects.
- Refugees revitalize cities and towns across America.
- Refugees contribute more in taxes over the course of their first 20 years in the US than they receive in benefits.
- Refugees are reliable and enthusiastic employees: they have a 7-15% lower turnover rate than the overall workforce in key industries.
- Refugees are also job creators, with entrepreneurship rates nearly 30% higher than among the US-born population.
Welcoming refugees is who we are as Americans:
- Resettlement is a bipartisan tradition: Democratic and Republican presidents have, on average, committed to welcoming 95,000 refugees annually.
- America has always welcomed people from around the world who yearn for the chance to rebuild their lives in safety, freedom, and dignity.
- Welcoming refugees sends a powerful signal to the world about America’s values of tolerance and acceptance.
- In the 40 years since the Refugee Admissions Program was established, the U.S. has welcomed more than 3 million refugees from around the world.
A legacy of faith-based hospitality toward refugees is now under threat
- “When did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” Matthew 25:40
We have a biblical mandate to serve the most vulnerable among us, the orphan, the widow, the poor, and the foreigner. We at Samaritas have been fulfilling this mandate in a robust way for 70 years. As this priority is diminishing, we ask that you join us in advocating for a notable increase in the number of refugees that can be resettled in the U.S. in 2020 through your support of the Grace Act as noted below.
How to Call
- Find out if your Member of Congress supports the GRACE Act.
- If they have already co-sponsored, great! A ‘thank you’ is always appreciated.
- If they have not yet co-sponsored, tell them they should!
- Go to https://www.rescue.org/act to sign up and receive a phone call connecting you to your Member of Congress
Sample Calling Script
Hi, my name is ____ and I’m a constituent from _______. I am calling to ask the Representative to support the GRACE Act, which establishes a minimum number of refugees who will be resettled in the U.S. each year in keeping with historic norms. I strongly believe we need to uphold America’s legacy of welcoming refugees, and I hope the Representative does too. Thank you.
The following is a list of the legislators on the Committee that have influence in making changes in this regard:
House & Senate Judiciary Committee & Subcommittee
- Senate Full Committee Chair (South Carolina): Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): 202-224-5972 @LindseyGrahamSC
- Senate Full Committee Ranking Member (California): Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): 202-224-3841 @SenFeinstein
- Senate Immigration Subcommittee Chair (Texas): Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): 202-224-2934 @JohnCornyn
- Senate Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member (Illinois): Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): 202-224-2152 @SenatorDurbin
- House Full Committee Chair (New York): Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10): 202-225 5635
- House Full Committee Ranking Member (Georgia): Representative Doug Collins (R-GA-09): 202-225-9893 @RepDougCollins
- House Immigration Subcommittee Chair(California): Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19): 202-225-3072 @RepZoeLofgren
- House Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member (Colorado): Representative Ken Buck (RCO-04): 202-225-4676 / @RepKenBuck
We are very grateful for your efforts on behalf of the refugee children and families who are seeking protection from the multiple traumas they have experienced and a permanent home here in America.
Grace & Peace,
Samaritas Chief Executive Officer