From the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR) & Old St. Pat's Immigrant & Refugee Rights Committee
On September 26, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO 13888) that could drastically reduce, if not entirely end, the resettlement of refugees in your community. It requires state and local officials to provide written consent for refugee resettlement to continue in their states and localities. This means that refugee resettlement will stop in an entire state unless the governor sends a letter providing consent. County executives or their equivalents, depending on each state’s setup, must also provide consent for refugees to be resettled in their localities. We are urging governors and county officials to sign letters allowing refugee resettlement to continue, ASAP and by January 17th at the latest, so the State Department has them when making decisions about where refugees can be resettled. For us here at Old St. Pat’s this means petitioning Governor Pritzker and Cook County President, Toni Preckwinkle, if you live in Cook County, to draft such letters.
This EO is already creating chaos and confusion about where refugees can be resettled, which will lead to family separation for refugee families, and will leave refugees, former refugees and U.S. citizens without necessary supportive services. To make matters worse, the administration has set a refugee admissions cap of 18,000 refugees for the next year, an abysmal number that stands in stark contrast to the historic average annual resettlement goal of 95,000 refugees.
LCWR is one of many faith-based organizations supporting an injunction against the Trump administration’s EO. This could decide the fate of the refugee resettlement program and impact thousands of refugees and their families.
They’ve also suggested other ways that you can support refugees and refugee resettlement.
1. Share Stories: Dedicate prayer, testimony, or a message to your faith community to welcome refugees.
2. Engage Local Media Outlets: Write an Opinion Editorial or Letter to the Editor.
3. Amplify: Use Social Media: Educate people on social media about why the executive order is unjust using the hashtags #RefugeesWelcome #NoRefugeeBans.
4. Activate: Elected Officials Besides the Governor and your County Board President, call your two Senators and one Representative and tell them to protect refugees and restore the resettlement program. 202-858-1581
Tell them: “My community welcomes refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants, and I urge you to do the same.” Urge them to hold the administration accountable to meeting this year’s 18,000 refugee admissions goal and urge them to commit to resettling 95,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2021.
To contact your state and local officials, visit: contactingcongress.org/local and usa.gov/elected-officials. To tweet your state and local officials, click to find the twitter handles for your governor and state legislators.