Last week, former refugees, Lutheran leaders and representatives of Lutheran social ministry organizations came together to deliver a message to Capitol Hill about the importance of the refugee program.
On June 20, World Refugee Day, a delegation of sixteen advocates met with almost forty Congressional offices voicing support for legislation and funding to protect refugees abroad and assist them in resettlement. In sharing their own story, the advocates reminded members of Congress and their staff why they should support refugee policies: it’s an opportunity for vital humanitarian action that creates new Americans, eager to build a life in their new home.
As a result of these advocacy efforts by LIRS and the delegation, a refugee resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives and additional members of Congress agreed to co-sponsor legislation designed to improve the resettlement system.
Chris Phan, a former refugee currently living in Garden Grove, California was one of the sixteen advocates and said a personal meeting with Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-16) was the highlight of the day. As he returned home, Chris noted that the experience deepened his resolve to “provide a voice for refugees and immigrants so they too will have the life opportunities I was given.”
I was so honored to be invited to Washington D.C. by LIRS to advocate for refugees worldwide on World Refugee Day! It was wonderful to meet so many successful refugees from various countries and background.
We had an amazing time advocating with members of Congress. My personal highlight was meeting with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. She is such a great supporters of refugees’ rights.
Although the time flew by, I will cherish the lifelong memories and will strive harder to provide a voice for refugees and immigrants so they too will have the life opportunities that I was given.
To see photos from the day, check out our Facebook album.