News from the Week of May 6th

The administration must resettle at least 3,750 refugees each month to meet the historically low goal of admitting 45,000 refugees for Fiscal Year 2018. On Wednesday, Refugee Council USA released their April report card tracking refugee arrivals. It revealed that only 1,639 refugees arrived last month. The United States must do far more to remain committed to the safety of the world’s most vulnerable.

Seven years ago Army veteran Peter Farley learned that his interpreter Wisam was coming to America. But today, Wisam's family remains stuck in Iraq and in danger because of their loyalty to us. Unfortunately, the problem is not isolated to Wisam and his family. Midway through 2018, only 36 U.S.-affiliated Iraqis have arrived through the P-2 visa program—compared to the 3,051 who came through the same program in 2017. Take action now and join us in calling on Congress to #SaveOurAllies

In an effort to tighten immigration enforcement, the United States will stop exempting parents from prosecution when they enter the country illegally. The move will separate more children from their families. In April federal officials admitted they lost track of almost 1,500 unaccompanied migrant children. Eleanor Acer of Human Rights First called the increase in family separations, which are being challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union, a “new low in contempt for refugees and migrants.”

This week one hundred and twenty-six members of Congress joined U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr.’s letter asking, #WhereRtheRefugees. The letter raised concerns and called into question the United States’ extremely low resettlement rates, and urged President Trump to prioritize and rebuild America’s leadership during the refugee crisis. “The U.S. has a national security and moral imperative to welcome refugees, who are the most thoroughly vetted people who enter our country. America taking a leadership role during this crisis bolsters our credibility as a nation of immigrants founded on the promise to welcome those seeking a better life,” the Members wrote.

On May 8 both the House and Senate introduced legislation addressing the shortage of visas currently allotted for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. The Afghan Allies Protection Amendments Acts will authorize four thousand additional Afghan SIVs for Fiscal Year 19 and allow for carryover of unused visas to future fiscal years. We urge members of Congress to support this crucial legislation.

In 2015 Essam Daod traveled to Lesbos, Greece as an aid worker hoping to provide support to refugees. A physician from Israel, Daod administered CPR to those who nearly drowned in a shipwreck. However, he says soon after he began volunteering, he realized that he was blind to the trauma and unseen mental health struggles of refugees. A few months after his first trip, he and his wife founded Humanity Crew, the first mental health first aid organization to operate during the refugee crisis.