At the risk of entering a fray from which I’ve worked so diligently to refrain…my heart is breaking today. So after a few hours of deliberation, I’m asking for your help.
There’s a distinct possibility that after today–January 27, 2017–the United States will have in place an Executive Order dramatically limiting my nation’s ability to welcome refugees.
Reports indicate the order will stop all refugee settlement for 120 days, end the resettlement of Syrians, temporarily block resettlement from six other “terror prone” countries, and reduce refugee admission for this fiscal year from 110,000 to 50,000.*
Now, I’m not great at math. But that’s 60,000 people fleeing war-ravaged countries, whom we don’t get to help.
I’ve witnessed firsthand how refugees give back to their host nations. In fact, Uganda’s being studied for its overwhelming success in its successful policies in welcoming refugees. In Kampala, 21% of refugees own a business that employs other people—and 40% of those employees are Ugandan nationals. (Check out this TED Talk and article on “4 Innovations that Could Turn Refugees from Burdens into Assets.”)
And keep in mind: 41% percent of all refugees are under age 18.
What can I do?
- This page has a number of practical ideas you can do right now to affect this decision. Because this order aims to be put into law today, if you feel moved to act, please don’t delay.
- Please, pray today for America’s government, this decision, and refugees around the world. Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t beyond God’s reach, and my government isn’t either.
- Get social. Would you consider leveraging your available networks for this purpose, as you feel comfortable (or courageous)? Let people know what’s going on. (I wouldn’t have known if someone didn’t e-mail me.) This link has ideas to use Facebook and Twitter to contact the White House.
- Learn. Recently I wrote regarding 3 Reasons I Welcome Refugees (and Three Ways You Can, Too). It’s got some helpful links on how you can help and advocate over the long term for this voiceless population.
Thanks for considering an act of courage for the powerless. Honestly, Jesus took me when I was an alien—not just an alien; an enemy–and made me His daughter. He gave me liberty, skills, kindness I didn’t deserve, purpose, a future, a home. And really that—He—is why I welcome refugees.