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Posted by Brave New Films on Wednesday, November 11, 2015
At last, a bipartisan push has begun in Congress to help Syrian refugees in desperate need—and seizing the opportunity now may be our only chance for the next two years.
Here’s the situation: Millions of families have fled terrorism and their government’s bombs, only to face the impossible choice between trying to survive the winter in tents in refugee camps, or making the often lethal trip to Europe. At present, the United States only plans to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees next year. By comparison, the U.S. welcomed a half-million refugees from Cuba and three quarters of a million from Vietnam.
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have proposed emergency funding to help resettle tens of thousands more refugees in the U.S. and give a lifeline to refugees in camps.1 If we want to help more Syrian families, we need to make sure Congress knows the public cares about this, and we need to do it now.
Can you call your senators to tell them you support emergency funding to support Syrian refugees now?
You can say: “The U.S. should do more to help Syrian refugees. Please co-sponsor Senate Bill 2145, the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act.”
You can reach your senators via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Then, please report your call by clicking here:
Congressional offices say that they’re getting slammed with anti-refugee phone calls, many of them laced with ugly stereotypes and even outright hatred. Extremists like Donald Trump paint refugees as terrorists, when in fact refugees are seeking refuge from terrorism—and go through intensive security vetting.
This is a moral moment. If we don’t speak up, we leave the debate to those calling for America to turn our backs on the people facing this crisis.
In early September, the photo of a young child who drowned trying to seek safety served the world with a heartbreaking wake-up call. The MoveOn community leaped into action. Together, we raised $250,000 to support refugees. Along with friends from UNHRC—The UN Refugee Agency, Welcoming America, and the Refugee Council USA, we’ve sent “America Welcomes” photo messages from across the country to show that we welcome refugees from Syria and elsewhere.
Now, we have to ensure that this message reverberates in Washington. Even as we work to end the tragic conflict that has sent so many families from their homes, we also have to extend a hand to those who need help now. By doing so, we reject the politics of fear that have caused so much pain at home and around the world—and move closer to building the kind of open-hearted country we aspire to become.