As we near World Refugee Day on June 20th, our planet faces the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Refugees need our assistance now more than ever, and the United States must continue to provide global leadership for refugees as well as offer safety and assistance to the world’s most vulnerable people. With over 65 million people worldwide now officially displaced from their homes by conflict, violence and persecution, we cannot turn our backs on the most vulnerable at this critical time.
In a recent letter to congress, the Stated Clerk, Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, wrote “Presbyterians have a long history of choosing welcome over isolation and fear. At the end of World War II and the wars in Southeast Asia, we called on the U.S. to welcome refugees to our country and our government responded. We chose welcome when our very congregations served as the host sites to refugees in the years before resettlement agencies. And, Presbyterians choose welcome now as we assist families resettling to the U.S. from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Burma, Bhutan, and other countries. In 2016 alone, hundreds of congregations engaged directly with newly arriving refugees. We believe this ministry to and with our sisters and brothers in danger is essential to our calling as people of faith… We choose to welcome all sisters and brothers in need of protection and security regardless of race, creed, or nationality.”
Please contact your members of congress and ask them to restore its commitment to refugee admission and pursue a minimum goal of 75,000 refugee admissions in Fiscal Year 2018. Ask them to robustly support and fund U.S. refugee resettlement and challenge any legislation that creates unjust burdens on these populations or creates greater obstacles to seeking resettlement.
This is a moment in our history when we can choose to the be on the side of righteousness and justice. This is a moment when we as a nation can choose welcome.