Call on President Obama to Welcome 100,000 Syrian Refugees
The brutal conflict in Syria has caused one of the largest refugee exoduses in modern history and has forced more than 4 million people to flee their homes and cross into Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq in search of safety.
More than half of the refugees are children. One in every four inhabitants of Lebanon is a Syrian refugee. Neighboring country capacities to cope has deteriorated rapidly in the last year.
As the humanitarian situation unravels, tens of thousands of desperate refugees have poured into Europe, many losing their lives along the way. We have all seen the images of children, drowned at sea.
The United States can save these innocent lives, but to date has resettled fewer than 2,000 Syrian refugees despite the plea of the United Nations Refugee Agency for the international community to help neighboring states by resettling 10 percent (or 400,000) of the Syrian refugee population.
Please join the International Rescue Committee in taking action to rescue Syrian refugees. Urge President Obama to stand for welcome and bring the most vulnerable refugees to safety into the U.S.
I write to urge you to do more to increase humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees and to demonstrate global leadership by resettling at least 100,000 Syrian refugees, as called for by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
After fleeing horrific violence in Syria, Syrian refugees are now facing unbearable hardships, including cuts in food rations and restrictions in access to health care and education. And the most vulnerable refugees – those who would normally be prioritized for resettlement – are falling through the cracks.
Many refugees have lost hope for the future. When mothers and fathers are compelled to board unsafe dinghies or trucks with their children to try to reach safe haven in Europe, you know they no longer have anything left to lose.
U.S. resettlement saves lives and restores hope. U.S. resettlement is also the benchmark by which other wealthy states measure their own level of responsibility to resettle refugees.
Current U.S. resettlement planning does not go far enough to meet urgent needs, and demonstrates an utter failure of global leadership. We must do more.
In your upcoming 2016 Determination for Refugee Admissions, I call upon you to admit 200,000 refugees in FY 2016, including at least 100,000 refugees from Syria.
As part of your plan, we also urge you to consider expanding existing programs to allow for more Syrian-Americans and immigrants of Syrian origin, who are already contributing members in so many communities around the country, to be able to bring their family members to safety.
For refugees who have lost so much already, to deny them the opportunity to seek refuge in the homes of their loved ones who already reside here in the U.S. is simply unconscionable. You must act now to expand family reunification for Syrian refugees here in the U.S.
The IRC and its partner resettlement agencies are bolstered by tens of thousands of volunteers and supporters in local communities who are mobilized and ready to provide the welcome and the support that Syrian refugees need to successfully resettle in our communities. We are counting on you to stand for welcome and show the bold leadership that is required.
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