Dear Secretary Pompeo,
Now is the time to save the U.S. refugee resettlement program, and to protect the lives of tens of thousands of people along with it.
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is a vital, life-saving program that protects refugees by helping them find safety in the United States. In the midst of the worst global displacement crisis in world history, with more than 29.6 million refugees worldwide, a strong U.S. refugee resettlement program is an expression of our core American values.
Refugees resettled in the U.S. quickly become our neighbors. They are healthcare professionals, restaurant workers, teachers, and essential workers. Throughout the 40-year history of the refugee resettlement program, resettled refugees have had an outsized impact on our economy and our communities.
Despite the positive impact refugees have on our communities and economy, the number of people arriving to our country has decreased drastically over the past few years. Families have remained separated, people have remained in dangerous situations abroad, and the infrastructure of the refugee program and refugee agencies is crumbling.
This fall, as the administration sets the Presidential Determination (PD) for refugee admissions in FY2021, we urge you to reverse course, and return our country’s refugee admissions goal to the historic average of 95,000 refugees annually.
The signers of this petition come from communities across the country that want to welcome more refugees to our communities. The commandment to welcome and protect the stranger is repeated more times than any other Judaism's holy texts. It is a value that transcends religion and speaks to the core of who we are as a country.