“The most important thing we can do right now is advocate….If we don’t speak out now, there may be no refugees to welcome,” commented Allison Duvall, Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Manager for Church Relations and Engagement during the December 1st Advent Advocacy Update Webinar.
This is the time to act. As we’ve reported, the House of Representatives has already passed HR 4038, the bill that would add such onerous requirements to the vetting process that few, if any, refugees would be welcomed. The Senate has yet to vote on this bill so your voice can still make a difference.
It is also crucial that we also voice our opposition to any omnibus appropriations bill that includes riders which would stop, pause or defund refugee resettlement. Omnibus bills are those that combine smaller requests for funding in one large package for voting simplicity. Very often these bills include special interest riders in hope of gaining support of additional congressmen.
You can find out how to contact your legislators at http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/RefugeeAdvocacy where you will find talking points and tips for calling your legislators. You will also find a link there to send a pre-written letter to your representatives, senators, and governor.
Please act now.
— Judith Schellhammer, chairperson, Resolutions Review Committee