We need your help! Last week the House of Representatives passed HR 4038 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4038/text), which is now awaiting the Senate vote upon its return from Thanksgiving Break. If passed, this bill will halt any refugee resettlement from Syria or Iraq indefinitely. The bill requires that the security clearance for resettlement in each case include a personal approval by both the Director of the FBI and the Inspector General of Homeland Security after the extensive vetting process that is already in place. Typically, the process now takes between three and four years for refugees from Syria and Iraq. Getting approval from both heads of these agencies will prolong the process to the point that all the previous vetting will need to be repeated. Refugees from Syria are individuals who are fleeing persecution from ISIS and the results of the Syrian Civil War. The refugees from Iraq and those individuals who helped the US forces during our engagement there were our allies and, for obvious reasons, cannot return to their homeland.
It is imperative that we act now! Contact your legislators this week and let them know that you are supportive of resettlement for these neighbors of ours (Luke 10:29-37). You can do this easily by going to the Episcopal Public Policy Network webpage and submitting your information. EPPN will they show you a sample letter and list all of your legislators to whom they will send the letter. http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/episcopal/app/write-a-letter?3&engagementId=145674
You should also call their offices. Here’s a sample script:
“I’m a constituent from (city) and I support the resettlement of Syrian refugees. I urge the Senator / Representative / Governor to represent me and other constituents who seek to welcome Syrian refugees. As an Episcopalian, my faith calls me to welcome the stranger. I am proud to live and work alongside refugees in my community every day.”
You can find the names and phone number of your legislators and governors at: http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/RefugeeAdvocacy
— Judith Schellhammer, Resolution Review Committee chair