Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement

Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement

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carolina taquechel started this petition to Local and State representatives

On September 26, 2019, United States President, Donald Trump, issued an Executive Order on Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement. This executive order states that unless state and local government both consent and publicly announce that they would like to allow it, refugees will not be allowed to resettle in that state.  According to the executive order failure to consent denies refugees the opportunity to be resettled in our city. The order states, “if either a State or locality has not provided consent to receive refugees under the Program, then refugees should not be resettled within that State or locality unless the Secretary of State concludes, following consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Homeland Security, that failing to resettle refugees within that State or locality would be inconsistent with the policies and strategies established under 8 U.S.C. 1522(a)(2)(B) and (C) or other applicable law.”  This public announcement must be made within 90 days of the order, December 26. As of now, there has been no statement from Alabama representatives on the state or local level. 


In 2016, the US resettled nearly 85,000 refugees. In 2017, that number dropped to less than 54,000 and in 2018, it dropped again to less than 30,000, which is the lowest documented number since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980. Meanwhile, more people have been forcibly displaced from their homes than at any other time since World War II. In 2018, over 70 million people were forcibly displaced, which is double what it was twenty years ago.  


Currently, Mobile is the only city in Alabama that accepts resettled refugees. The majority of refugees that are resettled in Alabama are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Somalia. Many members of our Spring Hill community have invested their time and energy into Mobile’s refugee community by volunteering with Dwell Mobile, a local non-profit organization that works with resettled refugees to ensure that they are able to thrive here in Mobile. Our Mobile community has become more culturally enriched by the inclusion of refugees and we want to ensure that our community can continue to grow in this way. 


We, the undersigned, ask you to consent, in writing, to allow refugees to be resettled in the State of Alabama and our local area of Mobile.  Within your power and jurisdiction we also ask that you advocate to leaders of the state, including Governor Kay Ivey, to make the same public consent to allow refugees to be resettled in the State of Alabama. 

 

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