A Message from Steve
Direct support of refugee resettlement agencies
Support agencies directly with donations of time, goods, and money. The temporary label is very misleading. Many of the resettlement agencies which the US State Department works with depend on the accompanying funding to operate. Suspending resettlement means that funding will be also suspended, and that means that these agencies will have to lay off staff and basically mothball their operation. These organizations will not have the resources or capacity to resume their work at [re-interruptions levels.
There are nine resettlement agencies in the US. They have numerous affiliates in different states. In our region, there is Ascentria (part of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services), Jewish Family Services (part of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), and Catholic Charities (part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops). I encourage you to support these agencies with your financial donations.
Education on the vetting process
The other major issue we are facing is a lack of understanding about the vetting process for refugees. It is a 20 step process which takes an average of 18 months. It is by far the most difficult way to get into the United States. People often erroneously conflate illegal immigration with refugee resettlement. I’ve provided links to numerous sites which explain the process. Consider sharing these resources in your congregation to help folks get educated on the process.
Tell your elected officials that they should review the vetting process if that is a concern, not stop resettlement. Tell them you are concerned about the permanent damage that a “pause” will create. I have provided links to petitions and advocacy tools below.
Jewish Family Services
Episcopal Migration Ministries
NuDay Syria Learn about this amazing NH based group HERE
International Rescue Committee
World Food Program Syrian emergency fund
Syrian American Medical Society
Refugee Council USA Post-Election Toolkit
Who are our elected officials – state by state
Episcopal Public Policy Network – Refugee Advocacy
Community leaders sign on letters:
Business community: bit.ly/Business4Refugees
Law enforcement: bit.ly/LawEnforcement4Refugees
Healthcare providers: bit.ly/Health4Refugees
Faith Leaders: bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees
In the Worcester area, contact Beth Singley at 774-243-3027 or email@example.com.
In Western Mass., contact Leo Shut at 413-787-0725 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Greater Springfield, donate Welcome Kits through Jewish Family Services.
For Worcester area churches contact Lisa Brennan of Ascentria at email@example.com or 774.243.3017
In the Westfield vicinity contact Mohammad Najeeb of Ascentria at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413.787.0725 x 401
In Greater Springfield contact Maxine Stein, President & CEO of Jewish Family Services at 413.737.2601, or email email@example.com.
In Northampton, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all you do. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or would like more information.
“Tend the sick, Lord Christ;
give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering,
pity the afflicted, shield the joyous;
and all for your love’s sake.”