Call Congress: Make Sure Refugee Program Survives the Travel Ban

As written, the President’s executive order halting refugee arrivals for 4 months and slashing the # of arrivals in half could permanently cripple our whole refugee resettlement system.  There is a way to make it better – do what President George W. Bush did in 2001 – partially fund resettlement agencies for the four months with no arrivals.

Call your members of congress and urge them to push to partially fund during these 4 months!

    1. Background
    2. Contact Info
    3. Script for Calling

1. Background

The President’s Executive Order halting arrivals of refugees for 4 months could permanently cripple our whole system of resettling refugees. This is because the organizations that contract with the government to help refugees when they arrive are funded on a per-arrival basis.  No arrivals for four months means no money for four months. That plus the President slashing 2017 arrivals by 50% when we’re almost 1/2 way through the 2017 budget year means refugee resettlement agencies will have to close many of their offices and fire their staff.  (If and) when arrivals are allowed again, who will do the work?  Especially since so much of the success of non-profits doing this resettlement work is based on relationships- case managers knowing employers and landlords to help folks find jobs and housing. Losing those experienced employees means losing much of the ability to do the work. As written, the executive order could gut the system and decimate refugee arrivals for years.

There is a solution: partially fund offices during the four months of no arrivals- this is what President George W. Bush’s administration did after 9/11 when it revamped vetting procedures – the President valued the American commitment to refugee resettlement, and so he funded the budgeted administrative costs at 75% for the three months that arrivals were put on pause.  We need congress to push the current administration to do the same thing.

2. Contact Info

Senators: Find them under “contact your senators” tab here

Congressperson: Find them by state & district in “find your rep” tab here
                                  or by entering your zipcode here

3. Script

Hi, my name is Dylan and I’m a constituent of the Senator/Congress[wom]an and I’m calling with a comment. Could you help me by taking it down?

Thanks!

I’m worried the President’s executive order about refugees could cripple our Refugee resettlement program for years. Non-profits that do the work will have to close offices and fire lots of staff because No arrivals for 4 months means no money for 4 months, plus the order slashes the expected budget in half.

So…I  want to urge the Senator/Congress[wom]an to work to provide some funding during this 4 month window:  President George W. Bush did that after 9/11- when he halted refugee arrivals for 3 months back then, he funded  resettlement agencies  at 75% of costs so they wouldn’t collapse. So, I’d like you to tell the Senator/Congress[wo]man to push for partial funding of the refugee resettlement program during these 4 months.

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