Last week, the New Hampshire State House passed HB 1405 by a margin of 81 votes. If the Senate passes it as well, the bill would allow communities to declare a moratorium on refugee arrivals.
The bill sends an unwelcoming message particularly to refugee families, as all refugees who initially resettle in New Hampshire do so to join family. Lutheran Social Services of New England, one of two resettlement agencies in New Hampshire, played a prominent role in educating lawmakers on how refugees make many positive contributions to the state and should welcome new members of our communities. Bob Kay, Director at Lutheran Social Services was quoted by the Concord Monitor: “You cannot pass legislation that says a group of people legally in the United States cannot move where they want to. Imagine if Gov. Lynch said, ‘Sorry, we can’t take any more poor people.'”
While the bill’s proponents paint the measure as one that will further facilitate collaboration between local governments and refugee resettlement organizations, saying “no” to refugees is not the answer. Instead of limiting refugee resettlement, the New Hampshire legislature should be welcoming refugees and searching for ways to make their transition to American communities easier.
Visit our Action Center to oppose the New Hampshire Refugee Moratorium Bill today!