World Relief is committed to supporting governmental policies and actions consistent with the call of Scripture to welcome the stranger among us. In working with immigrants and refugees we understand the vital role of government in setting policy and in funding programs that are in the public interest. Currently our advocacy efforts are focused on legislative solutions for DACA recipients and Refugee Resettlement.
Refugee Resettlement & Families Being Separated
For decades the U.S. has been a leader in welcoming refugees from around the world and giving them the opportunity to rebuild their lives in safety. But this year, in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since WWII, the U.S. will welcome fewer refugees than we have since Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980. And in recent days we have also been alarmed by the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, many of whom are asylum seekers fleeing the same kinds of conflicts that refugees have fled. Now, more than ever, policy makers at all levels need to hear from their constituents who want to welcome refugees and want asylum seekers to be treated with dignity and compassion.
Your voice can make a difference in the lives of refugees around the world and asylum seekers at our border. By telling your elected officials that you welcome refugees and want asylum seekers to be treated with dignity, you are influencing the decisions made by your local, state, and national leaders.
Call 202.224.3121 to be connected to your Senators and Representative.
You can also download the Stance App to leave your elected officials a voice message.
Share why you support refugees and want asylum seekers to be treated with dignity and compassion. Here's an example of what to say:
"Hi, I'm from [CITY, STATE], and I'm calling to let you know that I welcome refugees and asylum seekers. I urge you to do so also. Refugee resettlement and asylum are an American legacy offering a lifeline to those fleeing unimaginable violence. I am especially shocked and grieved by the way families are being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. I urge you to reflect the very best of our country by supporting and protecting families who are seeking safety in the United States."
If you use social media, and want to voice your opinion publicly, you can find your Senators' and Representatives' Twitter accounts here. Here are some sample messages.
@REPNAME, asylum seekers come to our border seeking safety from violence. Show that #AmericaWelcomes by keeping families together! #ProtectFamilies
#Refugees bring talents, perspectives and skills to our communities. @REPNAME, protect and support refugee resettlement! #WeWelcomeRefugees
Our #refugee brothers and sisters make our communities stronger. @REPNAME, please support a robust U.S. refugee resettlement program and help protect families seeking asylum. #WeWelcomeRefugees
Mail in a letter expressing your support for refugee resettlement and send it to your representatives and local government officials.
Find contact information, including mailing address, here.
Use your voice to rally your personal network and raise funds that will help refugees who do arrive in the U.S. to rebuild their lives.
Get started here.
Legislative Solutions for DACA Recipients
Hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants have come to America as children. They have gone to school in the U.S. and established a life here. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program allowing for the deferral of deportation for these youth and allowing them to apply for permission to work in the U.S. More than 800,000 young people have benefitted from this policy - and in turn have been able to work, support their families, continue their education, and give back to their communities. A 2016 survey of DACA recipients - conducted by Tim K. Wong, the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, and CAP - estimated that 87 percent of DACA recipients are in the workforce and have made incredible contributions to our economy. In Illinois alone, there are 41,256 DACA recipients. Of these, 35,893 are workers. Removing these individuals from the workplace would not only result in the loss of their talents, passions and skills, but also in over $2 billion in annual GDP.
Members of Congress in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have already introduced bipartisan legislation including the DREAM Act and the BRIDGE Act that would sustain, at least on an interim basis, these individuals’ employment authorization and protection from deportation. We applaud these efforts, and urge all Members of Congress to quickly pass one of these bills without delay. To learn more about the DREAM Act and to contact your representative, click here.
Use this resource from the Evangelical Immigration Table to pray for Dreamers.
Here is a one-page summary of who Dreamers are and how you can respond: Dreamer Info Sheet
Use Your Voice to Support Legislative Solutions for DACA Recipients
Contact your Senators and Representatives to encourage them to support long-term legislative solutions for DACA recipients.
Visit PowerToAct.org to enter your zip code and be connected with your Members of Congress.
Sample text: "Hi, I'm from [CITY, STATE], and I'm calling to encourage you to support long-term legislative solutions for DACA recipients. Legislative solutions honor the inherent dignity and worth of immigrant youth living in the U.S. These young people have gone to school and made a life here. By allowing them to continue their education and contribute to our economy, we are strengthening our communities and workplaces."
Not sure who your representatives are? Use your zipcode to find out here!
Are you looking for more information on the refugee crisis immigration debate from a Christian perspective?
Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion, & Truth in the Immigration Debate is co-authored by World Relief Staff, Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang (Yang)
Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis is co-authored by Stephan Bauman and World Relief staff Matthew Soerens and Issam Smeir.