Highland Presbyterian Church has a long history of working with refugee resettlement in Louisville through Kentucky Refugee Ministries. Over the years, by showing compassion and hospitality to refugees, we have know the gifts they bring to our community, including a Syrian family this fall. Catholic Charities and Kentucky Refugee Ministries have communicated how you can reach out to our Senators in an act of faithful witness to express that refugees, including Syrians, are welcome.
Deuteronomy 10:17-19: For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, 18 who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. 19 You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Refugee Action Alert
H.R. 4038 – American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015, or the American SAFE Act of 2015, passed the House of Representatives on 11/19/2015 and was referred to the Senate. Click here to read the bill.
Action is needed. Here is how to call and write your senators to let them know that you support refugees and that you oppose this bill. It would make it nearly impossible for refugees from Iraq or Syria to be resettled in the U.S. and will cause unnecessary bureaucratic delays, without increasing security. There is already a robust screening process in place for those resettled through the U.S. refugee program. The refugee resettlement program is in place to assist those fleeing from persecution and violence to start a new life. We should not turn our back on those most in need.
Example script: “I’m a constituent from [City] and I support refugees. I am opposed to any proposal that would stop or halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, such as the American SAFE Act of 2015. I urge the Senator to represent me and other constituents who seek to welcome refugees.”
Additional Talking Points
- There are 4 million Syrians displaced throughout the region, more than 50% of their entire population, making them the world’s largest refugee population under the United Nations mandate.
- Only 2,034 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the U.S. since FY2011 due to the intensive security screening.
- This is not an either/or situation: The United States can continue to welcome refugees while continuing to ensure our own security. We must do both.
- Refugees are the most scrutinized and screened individuals to enter the United States.
The multi-layered series of security checks include biometrics, medical screenings, interagency intelligence sharing, and in-person interviews with Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials.
- As a leader of democracy in the world, we have a humanitarian duty to provide those escaping persecution the opportunity to seek protection and safe haven.
- For more details regarding the refugee screening process, click here.