By Eric L. Steckel
In the wake of the tragic events in Paris on November 13, 2015, Catholic Charities of the East Bay urges the community to stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Syrians and others displaced by the violence in their homeland.
While this is a complex issue, we urge our community to avoid the impulse to blame all refugees for the actions of terrorist organizations. They, too, are victims of violence and persecution and seek a place of safety and freedom. Instead, let us stand firm and serve the marginalized, just as we pray for continued healing and safety in our communities.
We urge you to take action Today:
Call your Representative and Senators : 1-866-961-4293 or:
Senator Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553
Senator Diane Feinstein: (202) 224-3841
Rep. Mike Thompson (District 5): (202) 225-3311
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (District 11): (202) 225-2095
Rep. Barbara Lee (District 13): (202) 225-2661
Rep. Eric Swalwell (District 15): 202-225-5065
**In addition, Representative Hudson (NC-08) has drafted legislation that aims to essentially stop all Syrian resettlement. His effort is gaining traction quickly. It is very important that his office is flooded with positive calls about refugees and refugee resettlement TODAY. Please call his DC office at 202-225-3715 and/or his district office at 704-786-1612. To e-mail him please go to: https://hudson.house.gov/email-me**
When you call, tell the receptionist that as a constituent, you want to help WELCOME Syrian refugees and that you are against the calls of some governors to reject Syrian refugees.
Example: “I’m a constituent from [City] and I support the resettlement of Syrian refugees. I urge the Senator / Representative / Governor to represent me and other constituents who seek to welcome Syrian refugees.”
Here are some helpful points that you may want to mention, but the most important point is your story and why your community wants to welcome Syrian refugees!
- Welcoming refugees is the American way and an important part of the Catholic Christian calling.
- The US government handpicks the refugees who resettle here, and refugees are the most thoroughly vetted people to come to the United States.
- All refugees resettled in the United States undergo rigorous security screenings by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies, including biometric checks, forensic testing, medical screenings and in-person interviews.
- This is not an either/or situation. The United States can continue to welcome refugees while also continuing to ensure national security. We must do both.