|Without additional funding, vital programs that assist refugees and support communities that welcome refugees will lose significant funding and capacity.|
(Washington, D.C.) June 25, 2014 — Just days after the June 20 commemoration of World Refugee Day, members of Congress need to hear from their constituents (that's YOU!) that funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) must be substantially increased to meet the needs of unaccompanied children, refugees and asylum-seekers.
In order to prevent gaps in refugee services, ORR must receive an additional $200 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, for a total of $3.367 billion in FY15. Immediate action is needed.
Background: ORR has announced that they plan to reprogram $94 million away from current refugee services to meet the needs of unaccompanied children. In addition to serving resettled refugees, people seeking asylum, victims of human trafficking and survivors of torture, ORR is the agency responsible for providing services to the growing number of unaccompanied children seeking safety in the United States after fleeing violence in Central America. Since the number of unaccompanied children arriving in FY14 has exceeded projections, ORR is experiencing a significant shortfall. Without additional funding, vital programs that assist refugees and support communities that welcome refugees will lose significant funding and capacity.
Refugee services are already underfunded, and these cuts would have devastating consequences.
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA urges you to
please take the following actions TODAY
and spread the word about this urgent alert:
Call your Representative and both your Senators. You can call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or find their direct office lines on their websites at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. Tell them:
• I'm your constituent from [city, state] and I care about refugees and other vulnerable people like unaccompanied children and asylum seekers from Central America.
• I urge you to increase funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) by $200 million so they can meet the needs of both unaccompanied children and refugees. ORR faces a shortfall and will have to cut services for refugees in FY2014 if Congress does not increase its funding. These critical services help refugees find jobs so they can support themselves and their families and better contribute to their new communities.
• The U.S. must show leadership in helping these children while maintaining our commitment to refugee resettlement. I urge you to ensure that ORR receives a total of $3.367 billion in FY15.
Spread the word through social media. Find your Representative and Senators' Twitter handles at https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/members-of-congress and urge them to increase funds for ORR.
Here are some sample tweets for you to use (depending on the length of their Twitter handle, these may need to be edited):
• .@[their twitter handle] increase funding for Office of #Refugee Resettlement to meet needs of unaccompanied children #UACs & #refugees #ChildrenOnTheRun
• .@[their twitter handle] I urge you to > funding for Office of #Refugee Resettlement to maintain integrity of #USA #refugee resettlement program
• .@[their twitter handle] I urge you to > funding for Office of #Refugee Resettlement to meet needs of unaccompanied children #UACs
• .@[their twitter handle] Office of #Refugee Resettlement needs more funding to ensure unaccompanied children #UACs & #refugees receive vital services