Tell Congress to Fix the Border Crisis: Six Recommendations from Amnesty International
Peace Corps Community for Refugees urges you to contact your elected representatives to make ending this crisis a top priority in 2019. While RPCVs are generously stepping up to help asylum-seekers with humanitarian aid, the best hope for a long-term solution lies with Congress. Make your voice heard, as citizens and former Peace Corps volunteers.
Wondering what to advocate for specifically?
We strongly support key recommendations outlined by Amnesty International in its report “USA: ‘You Don’t Have Any Rights Here’: Illegal Pushbacks, Arbitrary Detention & Ill-Treatment of Asylum-seekers in the United States.” After an exhaustive, two-year research project on the issue, the human rights organization offered recommendations to Congress, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Urge your elected leaders to act on these six Amnesty recommendations:
To the U.S. Congress
1. Exercise greater oversight of DHS agencies. Halt the illegal pushbacks of asylum-seekers at US ports-of-entry; curtail any executive overreach, especially this administration’s attempts to separate and/or indefinitely detain asylum-seeking families and children; and end the arbitrary and indefinite detention of asylum-seekers that are in violation of international law.
2. Increase funding for immigration judges, and USCIS asylum and refugee officers.
3. Pass legislation banning the separation and/or detention of families with children.
4. Support and fund community-based alternatives to detention, such as the previous Family Case Management Program.
5. Decriminalize irregular entry into the United States, in line with international standards, and ensure that administrative sanctions applied to irregular entry are proportionate and reasonable.
6. Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the United States signed in 1995 and is the only country in the world not to adopt.
Have the facts when you appeal to Congress to fix the broken asylum system. Read Amnesty’s authoritative report for other key recommendations and background:
Executive Summary (webpage)
Full Report (PDF)
What We Do
As returned Peace Corps volunteers concerned about the refugee crisis, we engage the Peace Corps community in supporting refugees. We believe that RPCVs have the commitment, adaptability and cross-cultural skills to make a significant contribution to this global humanitarian effort.
Join Us in Supporting Mandy Manning, 2018 National Teacher of the Year
The Peace Corps Community for Refugees hosted a special event on October 9 in support of refugees and immigrants with the DC Forum at the New York University, Washington, D.C. Auditorium. Watch a recording of the live event here:
Mandy Manning, National Teacher of the Year, will be our keynote speaker. A Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia and a veteran high school teacher in Spokane, WA, Mandy has become one of the nation's leading advocates in support of immigrant and refugee students in our public schools. Refugee and immigrant residents also will share their stories, and leaders from faith-based groups and other placement agencies will discuss successful ways all of us can mobilize local support for immigrants and refugees.
How You Can Help Spread RPCV’s Positive Message About Refugee and Immigrant Students
By Patricia Nyhan
We are unequivocally supporting 2018 National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning, an RPCV from Armenia who teaches refugee and immigrant students in Spokane, WA.
Manning has been heavily featured in news stories across America, and her meeting with President Trump was covered by most of the major U.S. news outlets. Her Peace Corps background is mentioned in most of the coverage. You can help boost Manning’s positive message about refugee students in the following ways:
- Consider sending a short letter to the editor of your local paper about Manning. If the paper has failed to cover her, ask why they are not running this important story.
- Write a letter to the editor in response to a news story about an outstanding local refugee student who is graduating from high school.
- If you notice that Manning plans to make an appearance near you, help with turnout.
- Invite Manning to speak to an organization in your local area such as the Rotary Club, which partners with the National Peace Corps Association.
Please be aware that in many cases, organizations that invite her to speak will need to agree to help cover her expenses. Submit your scheduling request to CCSSO, the nonprofit that administers the National Teacher of the Year, using a request form on their website: https://fs17.formsite.com/
Get to know RPCV-Armenia Mandy Manning in this CBS interview on YouTube!