The days left on the Congressional calendar are numbered, and yet, funding provisions to respond to the greatest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime have not been allocated.
Congress has from now until September to pass funding bills for Fiscal Year 2017 that ensure critical funding for refugee resettlement. However, the draft text cripples the U.S. Refugee Admissions program and reduces resources for refugees at a time when our commitment to serving uprooted men, women, and children is needed most.
With more displaced people today than ever before, funding for refugees programs cannot afford a spending cut. The United States has signaled commitment to resettle 100,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2017, a mere fraction of the global need, yet the proposed funds would cap refugee admissions at no more than 75,000. At least 25,000 vulnerable refugees will spend another long year without the life-saving protection they deserve.
Furthermore, the funding cut fails to reflect the outpouring of support and welcome for refugees you all have demonstrated across the country. With over 75 years of experience resettling and providing integration support to refugees, we know there is ample community support to help 100,000 refugees rebuild their lives in the United States in FY17.
We need your help to call on appropriators to echo our commitment through robust funding. During the Congressional recess from now until Labor Day, you can take the following actions:
- Meet with your Members of Congress in your district (Here’s the how-to toolkit.)
- Tweet at your Senator and Representatives:
“.@SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE, show that #AmericaWelcomes by supporting increased funds to resettle #refugees! #RefugeesWelcome”
Or retweet this message:
— LIRS (@LIRSorg) August 1, 2016
- Call your Members of Congress using this script:
“As Congress considers Fiscal Year 2017 funding, I urge Congress to increase funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the Department of State’s Migration and Refugee Assistance account to support refugee assistance that appropriately responds to the global need. As a person of faith, my community welcomes refugees. I urge your office to reflect my commitment to welcome refugees by increase funding for refugee protection and resettlement.”
Don’t allow Congress to let time slip away before they enact sufficient funding for refugees and other vulnerable populations. Call on Congress to be Good Samaritans who support those in need of life-saving protection.