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. Local resettlement agencies need to obtain written consent from governors and mayors by December 25, or 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 elected officials to support refugee resettlement in their communities! Ask governors and local officials to provide written consent to resettle refugees, and urge all elected officials to declare their welcome to refugees and sign on to a letter that opposes the Trump Administration’s executive order and supports a return to the historic annual average of welcoming 95,000 refugees.
Image Credit: Flickr user U.S. Department of Agriculture
Communication about, or participation in, the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 13888 is not an endorsement of the legality of the EO.