We at (COMMUNITY/CONGREGATION in CITY, STATE) wish to congratulate you on your election to the United States Congress.
Our community is part of a network of Jewish congregations and organizations across the country who are deeply committed to making the United States a welcoming place for those who have fled their homes in the midst of the largest global refugee crisis in history. As American Jews, we know all too well what it means to have to flee from violence and persecution in search of safety, as that is the story of how many of our families came to the United States. Our tradition teaches us to recognize the humanity and dignity of each and every person.
We encourage you to be a leader on issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers, and to work with purpose and speed to restore human rights, dignity, and compassion to the refugee resettlement program and to the asylum system in our country. Over the past four years incalculable damage has been done to these programs, and rebuilding will take much more than a simple reversal of policies: it will take months and years of focused attention on reforming, reinventing, and modernizing our refugee and asylum protection systems.
As the 117th session of Congress begins, we ask that you commit to uphold the rights and safety of refugees and asylum seekers. Specifically:
Encourage the administration to restore and strengthen the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) by increasing the FY2021 Presidential Determination to at least 100,000 and by funding the infrastructure necessary to welcome more refugees.
Call on the administration to reverse harmful policies, programs, and executive orders that have hurt refugees and asylum seekers in the last four years, including: programs that deny the human rights of asylum seekers at the United States-Mexico border; regulations and policies that unfairly limit the right of asylum; and bans that cruelly target and exclude vulnerable populations.
Use the Congressional oversight role to highlight the importance of the USRAP and a humane asylum system, and to ensure that the administration is following through on its refugee protection commitments.
We look forward to continuing to engage with you on this issue in the coming weeks, and will reach out to schedule a meeting with your office to discuss specific policy priorities. As you take leadership on this issue on the Hill, we commit to doing the same in our district, so that we can together work to build a welcoming community for our newest neighbors.