Author: Emma Buckhout
NATIONAL REFUGEE CALL-IN DAY, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6th:
Urge the U.S. to Lead by Example on Protection for Refugees and Migrants
You know the situation of violence, corruption, impunity, and poverty is dire in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Our government has taken important steps to provide additional aid to the region for development and strengthening rule of law. Last month it announced expanded refugee processing in the region. But for too many children, women, and men, these long-term solutions are not coming soon enough, and the humanitarian crisis continues to drive them from their homes in search of protection elsewhere.
As Congress comes back to work this month after a long summer break, we need to make sure our policymakers are taking a comprehensive approach that will make a real difference in the region, as well as in the lives of individuals who are seeking immediate safety.
In two weeks the United Nations and President Obama are convening two historic summits on refugees. It is critical that the United States demonstrate bold leadership on protection for refugees and migrants—whether they come from war-torn zones far away, or our own backyard. Unfortunately, Congress is considering legislation that would flatline refugee resettlement funding at last year’s levels. This is unacceptable.
Individuals and families fleeing soaring levels of violence in our backyard, as well as those escaping violence and war around the world, deserve strong welcome, screening, and integration support. Congress holds the purse and members need to hear from their constituents that they support protection, not sending vulnerable children and families back to danger.
We call on President Obama and the U.S. Congress to lead by example:
1. Ensure adequate funding for international assistance to Central America;
2. Support expanded efforts for U.S. refugee resettlement; and
3. Stop detaining and deporting Central American refugees, and instead ensure they have full access to protection and asylum.
Today, September 6 has been designated as a national call-in day to make sure Congress hears that it needs to do its job—Tell your members to support protection for refugees and migrants, including those from Central America.
Step 1: CALL YOUR SENATORS & REPRESENTATIVE TODAY
Here’s a sample of what to say:
“I urge Congress to increase support funding for increased refugee assistance internationally, as well as increased protection measures, adequate asylum screening, and refugee resettlement abroad and in the United States.
The U.S. should stop detaining and deporting Central American refugees, and should instead ensure they have full, meaningful access to protection and asylum.”
Step 2: You can tweet at your Senators and Representative, as well as the White House:
“.@SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE, support increased funds for protection for children & families fleeing violence #RefugeesWelcome #ProtectionNotDeportation”
“.@WhiteHouse Stop detaining & deporting Central American kids & families who need PROTECTION. #RefugeesWelcome”
Step 3: To make sure Congress and the White House get the message loud and clear, sign this postcard calling on the U.S. to lead by example.
Please spread the word to urge your networks to call Congress today! Stay tuned for more actions for Central American refugees and migrants coming next Tuesday, September 13 ahead of the summits. Follow @lawgaction on Twitter and “like” Latin America Working Group on Facebook for up-to-date alerts!