Let Congress know that you care about refugees
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Hello, [Decision Maker],
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As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to support robust funding for refugee resettlement and protection in Fiscal Year 2013 and beyond. Since the founding of this country, refugees fleeing persecution in their homelands have found freedom and safety in the United States. The welcome we provide to these courageous survivors is a core principle of our great nation. When refugees are received with dignity and adequate support, they quickly become vital, contributing members who enrich our local communities. As your constituent, I am working with refugees, volunteers, and community members to ensure that our state continues to provide safety, shelter and a new life to those seeking refuge on our shores. We want to ensure that refugees receive the vital support needed so that they can build successful new lives and become self-sufficient members of our community. The U.S. has made a commitment to help welcome and resettle refugees fleeing persecution, and I want to see this commitment upheld and strengthened. A key part of this commitment is robust federal funding of refugee programs. There are three main accounts that fund refugee protection and resettlement: Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA-State/Foreign Ops); International Disaster Assistance (IDA-State/Foreign Ops); and Refugee & Entrant Assistance (REA-Labor/HHS). In writing this letter, I urge you to support robust funding for these accounts, and to actively oppose any cuts to these life-saving and life-changing programs. I also encourage you to co-sponsor the Refugee Protection Act (S.1202 and H.R.2185) and the Domestic Refugee Resettlement Reform and Modernization Act (H .R. 1475) to show your support for refugees. The current economic climate and debt crisis have had a profound impact on refugees seeking protection abroad, as well as on those resettled in the United States. Programs that help refugees have been historically underfunded, and any additional cuts would have devastating effects on refugees, Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa recipients, and victims of torture and trafficking, and would shift costs to local communities across the United States that seek to welcome and help newcomers adjust to their new homes. While we fully recognize efforts to reduce spending, the United States has a responsibility to provide adequate services to those whom the U.S. government has committed to protect. If the U.S. and other leading donors reduce their humanitarian commitments, many displaced persons will be left without basic protection, which will have life-altering consequences. For the few refugees resettled to the United States, insufficient resources have made it difficult to integrate and succeed. When provided proper resources for restarting their lives, refugees can integrate and become vibrant and productive members of our communities. Please accept this letter and show your dedication to your constituents by being a champion for refugees abroad and in the United States. Please represent me and your other constituents during the upcoming FY13 appropriations process and beyond by championing robust funding for the Migration and Refugee Assistance; International Disaster Assistance; and Refugee and Entrant Assistance accounts.
[City, State ZIP]