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Washington, D.C. 20 June 2018 – To mark World Refugee Day, a day when we recognize and raise awareness about the more than 68 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is calling on the Administration to support displaced Syrians by increasing the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. through the resettlement program and providing robust humanitarian aid for all those forcibly displaced around the world. JRS/USA will deliver a petition with this request signed by 815 individuals representing 276 congressional districts spanning all 50 States.

According to UNHCR’s Global Trends Report just released yesterday, Syria continues to be the highest refugee producing country. Almost one million Syrians have fled Syria in the last year, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees to 6.3 million. In addition, more than 7 million people are internally displaced within Syria, an increase of more than two million from 2016. Despite a desperate need for peace, the situation in Syria remains dramatically unstable after more than seven years of conflict, forcing Syrians to flee their homes amidst unrelenting suffering. Yet, the U.S. Government’s response is in retreat. 

“A total of 13 Syrians have been admitted to the U.S. through the refugee resettlement program in 2018. Our response to the more than 13 million people who have had to flee their homes due to war and violence must be stronger,” says Joan Rosenhauer, JRS/USA Executive Director. “On World Refugee Day, we ask the Administration to recognize our joint responsibility to take humanitarian action, to protect and welcome displaced Syrians, and to respond to the needs of the more than 68 million people displaced around the world.” 

“We deliver a request to the Administration today to help our Syrian brothers and sisters who have been displaced from their homes, but we hope that this response and humanity is extended to all those seeking refuge in the United States, especially children,” says Giulia McPherson, JRS/USA Director of Advocacy and Operations. “We know from working with displaced children around the world that they already face significant trauma and challenges because of their forced displacement, and we hope the Administration can welcome and protect these vulnerable children and their families.” 

JRS/USA will mark the delivery of the petition to the White House today with a brief program in Lafayette Park which will also be streamed on Facebook Live. The event will begin at 3:30pm EST. For more information, visit the JRS/USA Facebook event page

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