On September 26, the Trump administration signed an executive order that gives states and localities the ability to deny refugees from being resettled in their communities. The rule affects refugees already approved for resettlement in the U.S. and possibly prevents families from being reunited. Refugees could be barred from being placed near immigrant communities that would help support their transition to the U.S.
This news was announced in tandem with the administration’s proposal of setting the refugee admittance cap at 18,000 for Fiscal Year 2020. While nearly 26 million refugees worldwide are “flee[ing] persecution, war, or violence,” the U.S. has reduced its refugee admissions from its historic annual average of 95,000 to 45,000 in 2018 and 30,000 in 2019. Refugees have become integral members of our communities, bringing skills and blessings with them. Without resettlement, they face years in camps marked by instability, danger, and little hope for rebuilding their lives.
Scripture reminds us that when we welcome the stranger in our midst, we are welcoming Christ among us. The Christian Reformed Church has long practiced this by working with and ministering among refugees for over 50 years. We hope to continue this tradition and fulfil the scriptural call to “love the stranger.”Urge your state and local elected officials to sign on to a letter to oppose the Trump Administration’s plan to allow states and cities to deny entry to refugees and to support a return to the historic annual average of welcoming 95,000 refugees in 2020.