It's a Good Time to Speak Up

By Patricia Nyhan

Speak Up for a Humane Refugee Policy, Not Just a “Deal” 

It’s been a rough year for refugees and other immigrants. One Trump administration decision after the other has sought to wipe out longstanding policies and protections we never expected to be callously thrown out.

However, with several of them under serious consideration between President Trump and Congress at the moment, now is an opportunity to let your voice be heard.

Urge your representatives to insist on a more coherent and fair overall policy than Trump’s across-the-board cutbacks affecting the most vulnerable of legal and illegal immigrants.

Call for a humane overarching approach to immigration – not just a “deal” trading one vulnerable group for another.

As RPCVs, we have real-world experience to draw on to argue that America benefits from all immigrants who come here carefully vetted and legally processed, or have been promised special protection.  Advocate for these groups that urgently need your support, as negotiations continue:

.  DACA.  The “Dreamers” (undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children) number nearly 800,000. Urge your representatives to extend their legal status. Add your voice to those who condemn the Trump administration’s draconian proposal to send them back to countries they have never known.

.  TPS.  The Department of Homeland Security said this week it will not renew “Temporary Protected Status” for 200,000 Salvadorans. Last year, Haitians and Nicaraguans suffered the same fate. The move against the Salvadorans, the largest group holding TPS by far (two-thirds of the beneficiaries), could lead to more illegal immigration.

. The Wall.  As part of the current negotiations, this proposal may hopefully be nixed by Congress as wasteful and ineffective, compared to other more 21st century border security measures. But it’s more likely to survive in some form as a Trump priority. If you live in the Southwest and can offer a personal perspective on why the “big, beautiful wall” Trump proposes is not a good idea, now is a good time to offer it.

.  Refugee resettlement. Urge Congress to pressure the administration to raise the 45,000 refugee admissions ceiling, the lowest in generations. Point out why family reunification is an approach that has worked, as opposed to the administration’s proposed entry based on favored professions. This issue and the travel ban making its way through the courts are part of the overall picture of a coherent immigration policy.

. Asylum seekers. Those who have made their way here because of great danger to themselves in their home countries face newly repressive U.S. government policies. Their plight is not targeted in the current negotiations, but reports from across the U.S. by advocates about slowdowns in processing are worrisome. As another critical part of the immigration picture, asylum-seekers should have their voices heard, too.

It’s a good time for letting your voice be heard!