Response to Refugee Resettlement Restriction

On September 26, the White House issued an Executive Order (EO 13888) that could stop the resettlement of refugees in North Carolina.  This cruel executive order will prolong family separation for refugee families, create chaos and confusion about where refugees can be resettled, and leave refugees, former refugees, and United States citizens without supportive services. The administration has also proposed a refugee admissions goal of 18,000 refugees for this year which stands in stark contrast to the historic average goal of 95,000 refugees the United States.  Sadly, North Carolina’s senators seem to be unable to criticize any actions by the President, even when grave humanitarian harm is caused by his policies.  Therefore I’ve joined the North Carolina bishops in speaking out against this harsh treatment of people who are dear to Christ.  See our letter at the following link:

The body of the letter reads:

As your constituents from across North Carolina, we urge you to welcome refugees, support the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and deliver written consent to the administration that our state welcomes refugees. Our Christian faith calls us to extend hospitality and offer a chance for refugees to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. As United Methodists, we are called to “provide wherever possible pastoral care and crisis intervention to refugees.”  (Book of Resolutions, 3281)

On September 26, the White House issued an Executive Order (EO 13888)that may drastically reduce, if not entirely stop, the resettlement of refugees in our state. We are deeply concerned that this executive order will prolong family separation for refugee families, create chaos and confusion about where refugees can be resettled, and leave refugees, former refugees, and United States citizens without supportive services. The administration has also proposed a refugee admissions goal of 18,000 refugees for this year, a shamefully abysmal number for the world’s most powerful nation and in stark contrast to the historic average goal of 95,000 refugees. 

North Carolina has a rich history of welcoming refugees and is home to a diverse population of refugees and immigrants, adding to its economic strength and cultural richness. We have been an example of a hospitable and welcoming place for newcomers, where the contributions of all are celebrated and valued. Refugees are resilient, hard workers and valued members of our community. They contribute to our state’s economy as workers and entrepreneurs, paying taxes, starting businesses, revitalizing towns, and buying homes.

Resettlement is the last option for safety for refugees who cannot return home and cannot rebuild their lives in a nearby country.  We urge you to affirm the importance of this life-saving program, tell the administration and Secretary Pompeo to publicly declare that North Carolina welcomes refugees, and urge the administration to return the program to historic norms.

Welcoming refugees is not a partisan issue.  It is how we live our faith.

I have signed it with Bishops Hope Morgan Ward and Paul Leeland of the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences respectively and five of my fellow retired North Carolinian bishops: C.P. Minnick, Lawrence McCleskey, Charlene Kammerer, Charles Crutchfield, and Thomas Stockton.

If you feel similarly, I encourage you to write to your own elected representatives and otherwise take action to make refugees feel welcome in our communities.

–Will

One thought on “Response to Refugee Resettlement Restriction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: