Action: Congress Needs to Hear from YOU this Recess

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Author: Emma Buckhout

February 2017

This is an urgent moment for human rights in our country.  Our new president has signed executive orders to criminalize immigrants, ban refugees and individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries, further militarize our borders, and threaten our relations with our neighbors far and wide.  These orders undermine our nation’s values, and instead of making us safer, they threaten the safety of families in the United States and around the world.

Members of Congress are headed home to their districts for the next week.  This is not supposed to be a vacation, but rather a time to connect with YOU, their constituents.  Across the country, they need to hear that we demand that they stand strong for human rights at home and abroad.
Together we can send a powerful message to our members across the country to stand for compassion, not hate, at home and abroad. See the following action items and talking points.

What can you do?  Recess Actions:
(talking points below)

Request a meeting with your member:

  • Click here to look up your members of Congress.
  • Call their district office, request a meeting (preferably with the member, but also with staff).

Attend a town hall or public event near you:

Follow up by phone, email, and social media:

What should you say?  Talking Points for Congress:
Defend Human Rights at Home and Abroad!

Immigration and Refugees:
Ask: Protect children and families seeking refuge.

  • Stand for compassionate immigration and refugee policies and put an end to the administration’s unjust and unreasonable executive orders.
  • If you’ve signed our petition, bring a copy of it with you to any meeting/event to share.

Ask: Support a bilateral relationship that values human rights, accountability, and mutual respect on both sides of our shared border.

  • Say no to U.S. assistance that supports militarized border enforcement.
  • Support justice for families of the disappeared and other victims of violence.

Ask: Stand with environmental and human rights defenders.

  • Denounce the attacks against environmental and land activists, human rights defenders and local communities in Honduras.
  • Ask your representative to sign this Dear Colleague letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him hold the Honduran government accountable for these human rights violations. 

Ask: Support the peace process in Colombia.

  • Pledge to fully support the implementation of the peace accords diplomatically and financially through the Peace Colombia aid package.
  • Advocate for U.S. support for the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the remaining guerrilla group, the ELN.
  • Publicly condemn the recent spike in attacks against human rights defenders in the country.

Ask: Support and cosponsor legislation to open trade and travel with Cuba.

  • Specifically, ask your members to support the following bills:
    • The Cuba Trade Act (H.R. 442)
    • The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (H.R. 351)
    • The Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 525)
    • The Agricultural Export Expansion Act (S. 275)

Thank you for taking action and holding our government accountable to compassion and justice for all!