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Behind the Scenes, Senators Quietly Fight for Refugee Rights

A lot of LIRS advocacy work happens behind the scenes in DC, and, likewise, a lot of important congressional campaigns take place without much fanfare.

January 27th marked one year since President Trump issued the first executive order banning refugees and Muslims from seeking safety within our borders. At the grassroots level, we organized rallies, call-in days, and meetings; but behind closed doors, representatives on Capitol Hill were also doing their part to support refugees.

During the first week in February, Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) called on Congress to commit to refugee resettlement by introducing a resolution, drafted with the help of refugee advocates like us. Focused on the importance of the U.S. Refugee Admissions, the resolution aims to position the U.S. as a welcoming place for refugees and to counter the xenophobic rhetoric that has dominated the debate.

In line with LIRS advocacy, this resolution sends a message that Congress is concerned about the lack of refugees that have been resettled in 2018 thus far, and calls for the U.S. to resettle the 45,000 refugees we committed to welcoming to the U.S. this year.  

Resolutions are different from bills in that they do not have the force of law and do not require the signature of the president, but they can serve as valuable messaging tools.

In Blumenthal’s own words: 

“In the year since President Trump first signed his travel ban, the Administration and its allies have turned their backs on the worst refugee crisis in modern history. This resolution will tell the world – especially refugees fleeing oppression – that Congress stands firm in America’s commitment to the moral and geopolitical good done by opening our nation’s doors to such immigrants.” 

The full text of the resolution can be seen here.

We thank Senator Blumenthal and the co-sponsors of the resolution for uplifting the vulnerable and holding the U.S. accountable to our commitment to resettle at least 45,000 refugees.

You can learn more about our advocacy push for 2018 refugee admissions here or join the conversation on social media by ‏using #WhereRtheRefugees.

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