Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day, a day when people all over the world celebrate the courage, strength and resiliency of our neighbors who were forced to flee their home countries due to violence in search of safety and a better life for themselves and their families. Due to the continuing crises in Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere, the numbers of refugees being displaced is at an all time high. The need to find a sustainable solution as a resettlement response is more important than ever.
However, North Carolina may not be part of that solution if HB 1086 passes. Right now, the North Carolina House of Representatives is considering HB 1086, legislation that is intended to stop refugee resettlement altogether in certain NC communities. Should this legislation pass, it will promote fear and discrimination against refugees who seek only to reach safety and create a better future for their families. Our faith calls on us to welcome the sojourner, stand with the vulnerable, and love our neighbors; therefore, our faith compels us to oppose HB 1086.
Our representatives need to hear that that the faith community supports our refugee sisters and brothers. We have created a faith leader sign on letter to demonstrate that faith leaders across North Carolina stand together in solidarity with refugees and demand that North Carolina legislators oppose HB 1086 and any other legislation that is intended to stop refugee resettlement altogether in certain jurisdictions. Please consider adding your name to this important letter. Also, many elected officials will be in their states and local offices the week after World Refugee Day. This is a great opportunity to meet with them and/or their staffs, share your story, and ask them to be champions for refugees’ protection and resettlement. We can make a difference by letting our elected officials know that we support protections for refugees and improvements to the U.S. refugee resettlement program. And as always, let us remember to keep those who have lost their homes, families and communities in our prayers.