I'm writing to make sure you're aware of the disheartening news regarding the United States' Refugee Resettlement Program. Last week, The Trump Administration announced its intention to set the 2020 refugee admissions ceiling to 18,000: the lowest number in the history of the program. An Executive Order now grants authority to states and local governments to deny refugee resettlement in their communities. This order violates the United States' commitment to welcome the most vulnerable refugees into our country.
Everyone here at Inspiritus, an affiliate of LIRS, is disappointed by this staggering setback. Lifesaving programs that have held bipartisan support for the past forty years are systematically being dismantled.
This issue is a deeply personal one for me. My family fled the Rwandan genocide, and we were fortunate enough to be among the less than 1% of all refugees worldwide to be offered a chance to rebuild our life through this program. I still have a photo of my father and I arriving at the Atlanta airport as refugees in 1997 (pictured below).
Today, I'm privileged to lead an incredible team here at Inspiritus. Like myself, several other staff members are former refugees, and they bring their bravery and resiliency to work every single day.
There are two things you can do to help us in this fight:
1) Please donate to our refugee services here and select Refugee Services in the pull-down menu.
Help us continue to be both a state and a nation that provides safety for our immigrants. Your donation will go towards providing day-to-day needs to newly arrived refugees: an apartment, food, health screenings, orientation, legal documents, and school registration for children. Visit our refugee services page for a full list of services.
2) Contact your elected reps in Georgia, and members of Congress, to ask them to support the GRACE ACT(Guaranteed Refugee Admission Ceiling Enhancement Act).
I want to thank you for your constant support during these past few challenging years. We will continue to advocate for a robust resettlement program and serve refugees who now call Georgia their home.
- Aimee Zangandou
Director of Refugee and Immigration Services Inspiritus