Maria Cantwell: Senator
email: https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/email/form (check "I would like a response from the Senator")
p: (509) 353-2507
Patty Murray: Senator
p: (509) 624-9515
It is our mission to speak on behalf of the vulnerable, the oppressed and the persecuted. We invite you to join us in speaking up and speaking out in the following ways:
1. BIPARTISAN WORLD REFUGEE DAY RESOLUTION
There is a bipartisan resolution introduced in the House led by Rep. Sylvia Garcia and Rep. John Curtis, bi-partisan House co-sponsors of the resolution celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the US Resettlement Program. It reaffirms bipartisan support of the 1980 Refugee Act and restate the United States' responsibility to protect refugees who flee war, persecution, or torture in search of religious liberty, democracy, peace, hope, and freedom; and to recognize the importance of the refugee resettlement program of the United States as a critical tool for saving lives and as a critical function of United States global leadership.
We invite you to send the email below asking Spokane's House Representative, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, to join as a co-sponsor of resolution 902:
Dear Representative McMorris Rodgers,
We commend original co-sponsors Representative Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29th) and Representative John Curtis (R-UT-3rd) for introducing H.Res. 902, a bi-partisan resolution celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Refugee Protection Act of 1980. And we strongly urge you to become a co-sponsor to this important resolution.
At this time when we as a nation are working together to fight the COVID-19 crisis, 161,000 refugee health care workers and 170,000 refugees working in the U.S. food supply chain, labor with thousands of other essential American workers to keep us healthy and fed. As we celebrate World Refugee Day 2020 and the 40th Anniversary of the Refugee Protection Act of 1980, we celebrate refugee contributions to America over these last 40 years and now during this era of COVID-19.
If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor this letter and or the resolution itself, please contact Alex Guajardo with Rep. Garcia at email@example.com or Rebekah Rodriguez with Rep. Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your consideration.
[Your Name Here]
2. EMAIL TO ASK FOR REFUGEE SUPPORT IN COVID4 PACKAGE
The fourth Congressional COVID19 stimulus package, or COVID4, is being considered in Congress right now. The House passed its version last week and the Senate is now considering its version. Please reach out to your Senate contacts to reiterate our policy points below as they draft legislation. Here is a draft email you can use:
Dear [Senator Name] - thank you for your important work during these trying times.
As Congress considers another package, I am emailing to ask your boss to push for the inclusion of refugee related protections that are critically needed in any future COVID-19 related legislation. There remain unique challenges that refugees face, particularly as many were left out of previous packages.
Refugees are significantly impacted by COVID-19. Many refugees are essential workers and on the frontlines of pandemic response, including in the healthcare field, as truck drivers critical to the supply chain, and as grocery store employees. These stories are illustrative of our clients and their families’ needs and ways in which we have united to extend compassion. Many more refugees and other vulnerable populations are facing dire and immediate challenges during this unprecedented public health crisis. Many of these families will fall through the cracks without meaningful congressional intervention, as the public health crisis endures.
It is imperative that Congress supports provisions that would:
1. Provide $642 million for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) through the Refugee and Entrant Assistance account to ensure vulnerable populations like refugees don’t fall through the cracks and can receive housing, food, and the care they need.
2. Ensure 2019 and 2020 refugee arrivals receive the stimulus cash payments.
3. Automatically extend security check and immigrant visa validity periods and processing deadlines so that refugees and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients are not harmed by COVID-19 disruptions to applications, renewal, and processing. (Please note that immigrant visa and SIV validity period extensions are included in the Heroes Act, H.R. 6800.)
4. Waive (or at minimum permit remote) USCIS interviews for refugees applying for greencards – and direct USCIS to re-use biometric information to prevent further delays.
5. Resume refugee admissions expeditiously consistent with general travel restrictions from refugees’ countries of residence and continue processing vulnerable refugees with acute protection needs.
6. Pressure the administration to re-allocate refugee admissions to ensure the U.S. meets the FY2020 record-low admissions goal of 18,000.
7. Ensure the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) increases reception and placement direct assistance by $1,000 per capita to strengthen direct support for recent and new arrivals, including and beyond their first 90 days of arrival, and support domestic resettlement infrastructure.
Additional information about our refugee requests are linked here. More than 1,000 faith leaders and faith groups, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, 150+ resettlement and humanitarian organizations, and coalition partners support these requests.
Thank you for your work.
[Your Name Here]