Tell your Legislators to Suspend the Refugee Executive Order!
President Donald J. Trump
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Dear Senator(s), Representative
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I am writing as a college student and your constituent to urge you to protect the U.S. Refugee program. The Executive Order which was signed on March 6, 2017, after the initial order was blocked, impacts people around the world in life-altering and life-threatening ways. I stand with Catholic Relief Services and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in asking you to suspend the Executive Order until a more nuanced and humane revision can be established in consultation with relevant government agencies, to resettle 110,000 refugees in FY 2017, and to maintain existing prioritization of refugees according to all vulnerability criteria, including not only religious minorities, but also single-headed households, complex medical cases and others. Catholic Relief Services and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have extensive experience working with refugees around the world, assisting in refugee camps and welcoming them in the United States. Refugees are not the perpetrators of violence. They are its victims, often at the hands of the same terrorists from whom we must protect ourselves. They need our help, not our hostility. CRS staff met a father in Serbia who swam to Europe with his two-and-a half-year young daughter clinging to his neck. As Catholics and Christians, we have a moral obligation to offer shelter and assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ, to afford them refuge. As a Catholic, I support refugees because of my values and agree with Pope Francis: "There must be no family without a home, no refugee without a welcome, no person without dignity...." As people of faith we must act and send a positive message to those around the world who are suffering. In Matthew 25, Jesus is asked, "When did we see you a stranger and welcome you?" Jesus replied, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least ones, you did for me." I ask that we follow this example and welcome the stranger, not turn them away. The U.S. government has an obligation to protect the security of the American people. I welcome efforts to ensure vetting is secure, but believe this can be achieved without suspending and cutting admissions and without barring whole nationalities. With more than 21 million refugees around the globe, now is not the time for the United States to retreat from our global leadership to protect and welcome refugees. I ask you to do everything you can to: - suspend implementation of the national security Executive Order until a more nuanced and humane revision can be established - consult relevant government agencies in addressing national security regarding refugee resettlement; - resettle 110,000 refugees in FY 2017, given the significant needs overseas; - maintain existing prioritization of refugees according to all vulnerability criteria, including not only religious minorities, but also single-headed households, complex medical cases and others. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns for refugee families.
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