As I have said innumerable times over a dozen years, the Refugee Council USA is the lobbying arm of the refugee industry. The nine federal refugee contractors*** are at the heart of it, and all funding for it flows through Church World Service. (See CWS and CAIR, here)
See all of their member organizations, here.
Needless to say they are mobilizing their networks of Open Borders Activists to defeat Trump’s refugee slowdown and September Executive Order by getting your governors and local government officials to go on record saying they welcome more refugees.
If you are just learning the news that the President is attempting to make a fundamental change in how the US Refugee Admissions Program has operated for nearly 4 decades by giving some say to local and state governments about whether they want more refugees (that will be costing state and local taxpayers millions of dollars to take care of) here are some recent posts you should see.
Contractors sue Trump, here.
Refugee Advocates take aim at local government, here.
Governors are sending letters of support for more refugees, here.
88 Mayors say they want more refugees, 100,000!, but no letter yet, here.
Are you near a resettlement site, here?
Now that you are up-to-speed, see that the Refugee Council USA whose members have a huge financial stake in continued large scale refugee migration to America are working to generate action by their grassroots (and media lackeys) to follow the recent funding guidance from the US State Department.
(Although they claim the EO is illegal and are suing, they tell their followers to do this anyway!)
RCUSA’s Handy Tool Kit should be handy for you too!
Their financial future depends on ginning up their followers, see what they are telling their people to do….
Toolkit for Engaging Elected Officials on the “State & Local Resettlement Ban” Executive Order
Background: On September 26, the White House issued an Executive Order (EO 13888) that may drastically reduce, if not entirely stop, the resettlement of refugees in your community. The EO is already creating chaos and confusion about where refugees can be resettled, will lead to family separation for refugee families, and will leave refugees, former refugees and United States citizens without supportive services. To make matters worse, the administration proposed a refugee admissions goal of 18,000 refugees for the next year, a shamefully abysmal number for the world’s most powerful nation that stands in stark contrast to the historic average goal of 95,000 refugees.
Together, these actions are likely to destroy the bipartisan refugee resettlement program for years to come. It’s critical that we work together to demonstrate nationwide, bi-partisan support for refugees and ensure our state and local officials publicly declare welcome for refugees. We need you to make your voice heard at the local level and reach out to your governors, mayors, and county officials and ask them to support refugee resettlement.
Why is the EO harmful? The EO fundamentally alters the structure of the U.S. resettlement program by transferring decisions about who can resettle and where from the federal government to state and locally elected officials. Not only will this ultimately lead to a patchwork of conflicting policies running contrary to the purpose of a national resettlement program, but it will also leave thousands of refugees, former refugees, and U.S. citizens without consistent and routine access to integration services and other supports. The EO subjects families and our community members to the whims of politics and exacerbates uncertainty for refugee families and communities alike by requiring local officials to provide written consent before refugees can be resettled. This is an unprecedented and harmful procedure, particularly given that resettlement agencies already consult regularly with state and local stakeholders regarding community needs. In addition, U.S. citizens, immigrants, refugees, and visitors alike are constitutionally allowed to move freely between cities and states. We do not need explicit permission from cities to travel – or relocate.
What We Know: Governors and local officials must provide written consent to opt into resettling refugees in their states and localities. Resettlement agencies are responsible to obtain written governor and local consent – the administration will not be communicating directly to governors or local officials. Consent letters will be publicly available on the State Department’s website. Consent is needed from the governor of a state in order to continue refugee resettlement anywhere in that state. If a governor gives consent but a locality does not, refugees may be resettled in a different locality where consent is provided. Some family reunification cases that use the “follow to join” Visa 93 process may be exempted from parts of this EO. The EO does not directly apply to Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders.
In terms of local consent, the administration has referred to the county or county-equivalent. In some cases, there are no counties, and in others, counties do not have the authority. Ultimately, the administration will defer to local community’s determination of who has authority. If you have already reached out to a mayor’s office, please continue to get that consent letter. Our understanding is that in many places, that will suffice. When at all possible, please also obtain consent from a county official as well. The administration is requiring that a list of cities/towns that fall under the jurisdiction of the local body be included within or attached to the letter of consent. This can be prepared by the resettlement office or the official providing the letter, but it must be certified by the consenting official.
Your State & Local Officials Need to Hear From You
When you engage your local officials, we encourage you to educate them about the existence and content of the EO and ask whether they will provide written consent to resettle refugees. Here are the top two ways to take action:
- Tell Your Governor to Declare Welcome for Refugees: Click here to contact your governor and tell them to declare that they welcome refugees in your state. Ask them to provide the necessary written consent to the federal government stating that refugees are welcome. A template letter that can be adapted to your state is available here.
- Tell Your State & Local Officials to Support Refugees: Contact your state legislators, mayors, and county executives (and if you have close connections, to city, county, and town officials or other state and local elected leaders). Urge them to issue a public statement saying they support resettlement and to provide the necessary written consent so refugees can remain welcome in your community. A template letter that can be adapted to your locality is available here.
Letters should be addressed to: Secretary Michael R. Pompeo, U.S. Department of State; and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Carol T. O’Connell, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, U.S. Department of State.
The following language should be included in order to provide consent: “As [Governor/Mayor] of [state/city], I consent to initial refugee resettlement in [state/city] as per the terms of the Executive Order. This consent is valid unless or until withdrawn.”
An important note / disclaimer: Since we do not want our communications to imply that we endorse or agree with the EO, it would be helpful to include the following disclaimer in correspondences: “Communication about, or participation in, the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 13888 is not an endorsement of the legality of the EO.”
Steps to Organize Meetings with State & Local Officials
Template Letter to Officials: Click here for a template letter from community members, click here for a template letter from faith leaders, click here for a template letter from businesses and click here for a template letter from Members of Congress, to governors and state and local officials to invite them to declare welcome for refugees.
Step-by-Step Guide: Click here for guidance on how to prepare and organize meetings with governors, mayors, county executives, and other local officials.
Bring Handouts: Bring copies of this letter that is collecting signatures from state and local officials – governors, mayors, state/local legislators, etc. You can also adapt this template letter for your state and local officials for your meeting.
Provide Feedback: Don’t forget to tell us how it went! Click here to fill out a survey with feedback from your meeting. Contact Elissa Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like help in preparing for and/or following up with your meetings with officials.
Additional Resources to Help You Talk to State & Local Officials
Talking Points and Messaging Guidance: For talking points on the executive order and the proposed refugee admissions goal of 18,000, please visit our Talking Points primer: http://bit.ly/EOPDTalkingPoints. Additional resources debunking the administration’s harmful “resettlement vs. asylum” narrative is available here: http://bit.ly/PDFactsheet.
Power Map: Who can make the decision you need to influence (your primary target)? Who influences them (your secondary targets)? Who uses influence for/against this decision? A power map is a simple yet powerful tool to map decision makers and focus your energy where it makes the greatest impact. Click here for a basic template to construct your power map, and click here for some tips on how to research and map targets.
Letters from State & Local Officials: A template letter from state and local officials to the administration that can be easily adapted to your state / locality is available here. Feel free to reach out to Elissa Diaz at email@example.com for help crafting a tailored letter for your specific officials. In addition, we are still seeking state and local officials – governors, mayors, state/local legislators, etc. – to sign on to this letter. Here are additional statements declaring welcome for refugees by Governor DeWine (R-OH) and Mayor Ben Walsh (I-Syracuse, NY).
Local Resolution Template: Template resolution language for local municipal, county, or other government bodies that authorize, support, or otherwise give a nod in favor of continuing to resettle refugees in response to the refugee EO can be found here.
*** For new readers, these are the nine federal refugee contractors:
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)