ISSUE: Welcoming Asylum Seekers
As the United States rebuilds its capacity to welcome and Congress considers funding for Fiscal Year 2022, it is vital that Congress invest in an effective, humane, and just immigration system that upholds the dignity of all asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and immigrants. An important proposal has been introduced in the Senate as a significant step to welcome children and families and all asylum seekers with compassion and dignity. This proposal would provide case management services and legal representation for asylum seekers and offer humanitarian assistance at community-based border shelters and respite centers.
Currently, vital services for asylum seekers and arrivals at the southern border fall under the purview of an enforcement agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which has been ripe with neglect and abuse. This proposal would shift services to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an agency whose focus is health and safety, not immigration enforcement. Raise your voice to urge your Senators to support this critical proposal that would strengthen the United States’ capacity to welcome and protect people seeking safety at our borders.
ACTION: CONTACT YOUR SENATORS—Call your 2 Senators using the Capitol Hill Switchboard (202) 224-3121
Sample Message: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN] and as a Sister of Charity/Seton Associate/ person of faith, I urge you to do everything in your power to welcome and protect unaccompanied children and asylum seekers at the border, and ensure unaccompanied children are safe, housed, fed, and cared for.
Specifically, I urge you to support and join Senator Markey’s “dear colleague letter” in support of fiscal year 2022 funding for two pilot programs that provide case management, legal counsel, and humanitarian assistance for asylum seekers and arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. Contact Karlee Popken in Senator Markey’s office for more information.
As Congress considers funding for next year, it is vital that you support investing in an effective, humane, and just immigration system that upholds the dignity of all asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and immigrants by resourcing the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. My community welcomes people with dignity, and I urge you to do the same. Thank you!”
We thank you for opening the hearts of many to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome, and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope, and lives torn apart be restored.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ who fled persecution at his birth
and at his last triumphed over death.