I frequently contact elected officials urging action on issues that I believe are important to all of us. Here is an example:
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to respectfully urge you to resettle at least 75,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2019.
The United States is a generous country with a proud history of providing refuge to those fleeing violence and persecution. We must speak out strongly against reports that the administration may set a refugee admissions goal at 25,000 or even less.
Former refugees are this nation’s business owners, workers, faith leaders, elected officials and valued members of our local communities.
The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program has successfully resettled more than 3 million refugees since 1975. According to a newly released report—*A Return to First Principles: How Refugees Help to Define, Strengthen, and Revitalize the United States—refugees successfully integrate by virtually every metric, and they contribute significantly to local communities and to the nation’s economy. As a pillar of U.S. foreign policy, our nation’s resettlement program represents a standard of excellence that other countries look to as a touchstone for their own policies.
Despite the success of the resettlement program, last year the United States set its lowest ever resettlement goal, just 45,000 refugees, and we are on pace to receive less than half that number. This number is a very sad record low; therefore we are very concerned about the impact. At a time when there are more than 25.4 million refugees worldwide and major refugee crises in countries including Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Venezuela, and Burma, our commitment to refugee resettlement must increase, not decrease.
We encourage you to continue to uphold the values inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty and return refugee resettlement to its honored place in our nation’s history.
Delegate Kory represents the 38th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. She may be emailed at [email protected]