The August congressional recess started this week. 2014 is an election year, so many Members of Congress will be spending a great deal of time in their home districts, hosting local town hall meetings and speaking with constituents.
This month provides a great opportunity to join with congregants, church leaders, neighbors, and friends to set up a meeting with your representative or their staff at his or her local office. In these visits, you can be a powerful voice for vulnerable children and families seeking refuge in the United States.
We have created an August Congressional Recess Guide 2014 to support your advocacy efforts and have outlined four actions you can ask your Member of Congress to take:
- Maintain critical protections for children;
- Ensure adequate funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement;
- Reject the use of family detention and expand the use of alternatives to detention;
- Ensure access to legal protection is available to all migrants and refugees, especially children.
Let your representative know that people of faith want our country to continue to be a place of protection and hope for migrants seeking refuge. The August Congressional Recess Guide 2014 details the importance of making these visits, provides step-by-step instructions for the entire process, from assembling a team to following up after the visit, and has specific suggestions about connecting your stories to your message. It includes other ways to advocate at the local level during this critical month of August including writing op-eds, holding Bible studies, and attending town hall meetings.
Whether you’re an experienced advocate or seeking to meet with your Member of Congress for the first time, the August Congressional Recess Guide 2014 can help to structure and inform your visit. We encourage you to engage your fellow community members and raise your voices in support of protection, human rights, and due process for children and families seeking refuge.