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Advocating for Refugees

 Advocacy   

Advocating For Refugees 

Advocating, making your voice heard in support of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program and refugees worldwide is a vital response to the greatest refugee crisis in human history. Resettlement Agencies are being forced to close offices with budget slashings, bans and budget cuts effectively reducing the number of refugees to the lowest admission numbers in history. 

Refugee Admissions Quarterly Report FY2020 Q2

At one time a world leader, today the U.S. is a poor example of how to respond to the global humanitarian crisis. When leaders fail to lead, the impact is far-reaching and long-lasting.

Advocate for Refugees In the Time of COVID

During this pandemic, refugees here and around the world need our voices more than ever.  From phone calls at home, online, or in-person when the time is right, join us to let legislators at federal, state and local levels know that you are a humanitarian and American who believes in welcoming refugees. We have been to Capitol Hill and participated in RCUSA Advocacy Days in Washington, DC.  We continue to advocate all year long, and especially around World Refugee Day (June 20) and Welcoming Refugee Week (September11-20 ) and at community events including the Westchester County Heritage Festivals.  We boost advocacy efforts around important events and legislative initiatives.   

You can help!  Ask your Member of Congress and all elected officials to stand up for refugees!  We have sent thousands of postcards with written messages to our representatives in Washington.  

If you or your group are interested in letting your voice be heard, we can give you the tools!  Now, more than ever, your voice is needed to welcome, protect and advocate for refugees.

Ideas for generating postcard advocacy:

  • Organize and host a large virtual event to collect many signatures at once. 
  • Invite friends over virtual coffee or dinner and ask them to sign postcards.

The How-To toolkit explains it all! 

Postcard Campaign Toolkit 

The Hearts & Homes for Refugees Postcard Toolkit includes:

  • Instructions (how-to)
  • Names and addresses (where to send)
  • Sample petition
  • Fact sheet (refugees/asylees/SIVs)
  • Congressional representatives & maps
  • Postcard designs (if you want to order your own)
  • Postcard messages (what to write)

If you are based in Westchester County and organize a postcarding event, we will provide pre-labeled postcards.   For friends beyond Westchester County, the Toolkit includes designs and instructions for ordering your own postcards - although any postcard will do! Please print out our short informational sheets with sample messages. Personalized messages are fine too!  Remember, the postcards should be:

  • Respectful (no matter how you feel about the policy!)
  • Handwritten (most powerful!)
  • With name and address (at a minimum, writers should include their name and zip code)
  • Collected, counted, stamped and mailed by you, the event organizer. (Don't rely on participants to get these in the mail!  Please let us know the final count.  Send us an event report to  info@heartsandhomesforrefugees.org.

Petition:

Sign the petition AS WELL AS write postcard messages.

Please return the signed petitions along with postcards to Hearts and Homes for Refugees, PO Box 8558, Pelham, NY 10803.

Advocate for Special Immigrant Visa program

US Allies in Iraqi and Afghan risked their lives and the lives of their families to protect our troops in battle. As a result, many have been living in hiding and in fear for years while they await their visas. Many have died as a result of not being protected as promised.  Thousands of these loyal allies and their families wait in hiding and fear.

In addition to sending postcard messages expressing support for SIV cases, if you or your community is interested in learning about more ways to advocate for SIV's, please contact No One Left Behind and Veterans for American Ideals.