Thanks to your efforts earlier this year, we were able to ensure adequate funding for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
However, as Congress begins appropriating funding to different governmental agencies for next year, we need your help asking elected officials to continue to support funding measures that uplift and welcome refugees in FY15.
ORR’s federal resources must keep pace with its mandate to provide appropriate services to increasingly diverse populations. In addition to providing ongoing services for migrants who arrived in previous years, in FY 2013 ORR served nearly 70,000 resettled refugees, 2,871 Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants, an estimated 46,000 asylees, aver 500 victims of human trafficking, 6,750 survivors of torture, and 25,498 unaccompanied children.
The story of this year’s Boston Marathon winner, Meb Keflezighi, truly reflects how newcomers succeed when we live up to our legacy as a nation of welcome. Keflezighi, the first American to win the marathon in three decades, is a naturalized refugee from Eritrea who came to the United States with his family as a child. He initially had trouble fitting in with his new classmates until he discovered running.
In his words:
Running is just one ice breaker, for others it could be another sport, dancing, music, science, art, etc. Finding something you are passionate about will help you adjust to a new country and make friends. Having the right people around you is the key to success anywhere.
The services and support ORR provides to refugees and their families like Meb’s help them become successful members in our communities. We want to ensure that ORR continues to receive the funding it needs to give others like Meb the support they need to follow their dreams. Ample funding for services like specialized case management and matching grants that leverage public funds with private donations are essential to help eligible refugees become self-sufficient and succeed.
Please join LIRS in calling your members of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urging them to support robust ORR funding to adequately serve vulnerable migrants. You can also take action online through the LIRS Action Center.
Thank you for joining us in standing for welcome.