Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, President of the United States, U.S. Senate
Relocate Refugees to America
As a result of political conflict, violence and instability, displacement has reached a global record high. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over 65 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide. As the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time unfolds, our pain in hearing their stories is accentuated knowing that the United States is consistently retracting its assistance. Escaping their home country for the sake of survival, instead of finding sanctuary, nearly 5 million innocent refugees (from Syria alone) face closed borders. An additional 6 million are internally displaced. As 30,000 more people are displaced every day, it is crucial that we make progress towards resettling these refugees. However, President Trump has passed an executive order to allow only 50,000 refugees for 2017, a lesser quota than 100,000 under President Obama last year. Focusing specifically on Syrian refugees, out of the 4.96 million displaced Syrian refugees worldwide, the U.S. only accepts at most 8,000 annually. This goes against our values as Americans, as a country of immigrants, as a land of opportunity and as a part of the global community that can do more. It is absolutely unacceptable to move backwards; so this policy must change immediately. Please vote to support the U.S. government increasing the Syrian refugee resettlement programs by expanding annual quotas to accept at least 50,000 Syrian refugees. In American society, false stereotypes dehumanize and create unjustified fear of Syrian refugees that affect our policy towards helping these innocent people. To contribute to solving global issue and address these detrimental stereotypes, we hope that you can vote to resettle 50,000-80,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. each year. Germany, Sweden, and numerous other countries have already achieved this number, so the U.S. is clearly capable of equal provisions. Additionally, given the role the U.S. has played in the crisis in Syria, its partial responsibility for the refugees requires supportive action not only in the form of financial aid, but involvement in resettlement services. Historically, closed borders lead to atrocities. In World War II, hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees were denied entrance at the U.S. border and as a result many, if not most, perished in the holocaust. We cannot let history repeat itself. Progress in raising refugee quotas is delayed, in part, due to another key issue: the hurtful stereotypes associated with refugees. These damaging misconceptions are a result of xenophobic and false news regarding conflicts in the Middle East. According the Jewish Family and Community Services, a local refugee resettlement group, some refugees who arrive in the U.S. are treated so badly that they see a better life in their country of origin. By accepting more refugees, we can start the process of expelling these damaging stereotypes. As an elected official we, again, ask you to vote in favor of Syrian refugees. By doing so, you can humanize Syrian refugees in a way that many in power have failed to. Backing this cause includes opposing laws such as the ban on travelers entering the U.S. from the seven muslim majority countries in addition to statements directly blocking refugees from Syria. The ban, while it has been blocked, enforced the stereotypes of Syrian refugees as a danger to the U.S. and its citizens. While we do recognize the fears that some may have concerning the state of safety in our country by accepting more refugees. However, these claims lack validity and it is crucial to note that according to Politico since 1980 no Syrian refugee, or any refugee for that matter, has committed an act of terrorism on U.S. soil and as of 2017 the chances of an American being killed in a terrorist incident is 1 in 3.6 billion. If we continue to foster a hostile environment towards refugees, then it is increasingly likely that refugees will turn to methods of radicalization in order to feel accepted. Refugees are not dangerous, they are human just like us, and it is time we start treating them as such. Ultimately, we want to open America to the Syrian refugees who are searching for a safe haven. We hope that you will continue to vote in favor of the Syrian refugee.
Petition to President Donald J. Trump, General & Secretary of Offense James "Chaos" Mattis, Raytheon
Change the name of the Tomahawk cruise missile to Atlatl.
It has recently developed from the heavy media coverage of Tomahawk cruise missile strikes that some Native American tribes may feel offended at the misuse of their traditional weapon, tool, and status symbol by an administration many may not find themselves in agreement with. While the name was aptly selected as a respectful nod to the prowess of Native American warriors, and of the power projection that their tomahawks gave them, this thought seems to fall on deaf minds today, as such it is only appropriate to consider renaming the weapon. For this I have put forth the replacement name, "The Atlatl." The Atlatl is a weapon found among many cultures and ancient peoples across many continents, and as such has no specific ties to any one people to draw offense from. However, it is most well known as having been used to terrifying effect against Spanish Conquistadors by the Aztec people. The Aztec have since been wiped out by their Spanish invaders, so offense from them is unlikely, barring the possibility of El Dorado having survived in hiding all this time. It's safe to assume they'll opt to stay hidden somewhere in Mexico, rather than speak out, however. It should also be noted that the Atlatl was a supremely effective weapon, especially when compared to a throwing hatchet, and even has the benefit of actually being a thrown spear, thus looking more like a missile. It also serves as a final reminder to why we must build a wall, to never forget Spanish incursion. I feel I have put forth enough reason to warrant changing the name. Please sign and share to your friends and family. Thank you.
Petition to Michael Aoun, Lebanon ministry of Education
Quality Education for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
There are around 4.5 million citizens in Lebanon, and almost one in four people in Lebanon today are refugees. Lebanon's Ministry of Education has taken steps to enroll Syrian children in Formal Education, but almost half of the Syria Children who registered in schools are out of school now. Some have never even stepped into a classroom. A Syrian woman said, "Our children are growing up without an education". It is highly unlikely that Syrian Refugees will realize their right to education unless Lebanon improves its access to schools for the Refugees. This is a huge problem, and your signature can help start to change education for Syrian Refugees.
Petition to Illinois Governor, President of the United States, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives
Welcome Syrian Refugees into Illinois
Outside the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibit “Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter” hangs an excerpt from the “List of Deaths” that logs over 22,000 deaths of migrants and refugees in Europe. Looking at the wall full of name after name of refugees, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of hopelessness and despair. People on the list decided to abandon their homes and properties. They decided to part with friends and neighbors, sometimes even family. They did not make these decisions because they thought it was for the best; they were forced to out of necessity. They no longer had access to education, healthcare, and protection from the government that we so readily take for granted. Today, nearly half a decade since the Syrian Refugee Crisis started, families still make the perilous trek across countries, often risking their lives and the lives of their loved ones. They leave everything behind, with a hope that they will one day return to their homes. But little do they know that half of all refugees are displaced for more than ten years. Most Syrians end up in neighboring countries like Lebanon, which provides shelters for a million displaced Syrians;, or one fourth of its entire population. Yet we Americans are not doing enough. Thus, we call for the expansion of the United States Refugee Admissions Program. We urge the governor of Illinois to openly retract the refusal to admit Syrian refugees into Illinois. We ask our fellow Americans to unite behind the children of Syria, who are being denied of their childhoods by the horrible and destructive act of war. Let this be our generation’s crusade against the evil of our world. We, the members of UNICEF at UIUC and students of UIUC, pride ourselves of being the residents of the Land of Lincoln. Let us uphold his words “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Let us declare to the world that America, even in its most trying times, will be the world’s brightest beacon for freedom, hope, and opportunity. Let us preach our belief that the government is established to promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty. And let us do so without using the mightiest military in the world, but instead with a small but bold gesture to welcome Syrian families to our home.