Advocate

World Relief is committed to supporting governmental policies and actions consistent with the call of Scripture to welcome the stranger among us. In working with immigrants and refugees we understand the vital role of government in setting policy and in funding programs that are in the public interest. Currently our advocacy efforts are focused on: The BRIDGE ACT and Refugee Resettlement.

The BRIDGE ACT

Hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants have come to America as children. They have gone to school in the U.S. and established a life here. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program allowing for the deferral of deportation for these youth and allows for application for permission to work in the U.S. More than 750,000 young people have benefitted from this policy - and in turn have been able to work, support their families, continue their education, and give back to their communities. A 2016 survey of DACA recipients - conducted by Tim K. Wong, the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, and CAP - estimated that 87 percent of DACA recipients are in the workforce and have made incredible contributions to our economy. In Illinois alone, there are 41,256 DACA recipients. Of these, 35,893 are workers. Removing these individuals from the workplace would not only result in the loss of their talents, passions and skills, but also of over $2 billion annual GDP loss.

The BRIDGE ACT (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) has been introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators in the U.S. Congress to sustain the temporary relief from deportation offered to young people through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under the BRIDGE ACT, young people who came to the U.S. as children would maintain their eligibility to work and live in the U.S. without the fear of deportation so far as these young people have shown a commitment to education and have no history of serious crime.

World Relief applauds the introduction of the BRIDGE ACT and considers it a welcomed, but temporary, solution as we urge Congress to pass broad immigration reform as soon as possible. Read World Relief's full statement of support here

Use Your Voice to Support the BRIDGE ACT

Call

  • Contact your Senators and Representatives to encourage them to sign on to this bill if they have not already done so.
  • Call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with your Representatives and Senators. You will need to make three separate calls to reach each office.
  • Sample text:
    • "Hi, I'm from [CITY, STATE], and I'm calling to encourage you to sign on to the BRIDGE ACT. As its bipartisan support demonstrates, this bill seeks to honor the inherent dignity and worth of immigrant youth living in the U.S. These young people have gone to school and made a life here. By allowing them to continue their education and contribute to our economy, we are strengthening our communities and workplaces. While I desire to see comprehensive immigration reform, I consider this a good first step and urge you to do the same."

Not sure who your representatives are? Use your zipcode to find out here!

Read the BRIDGE ACT in its entirety here. Additional information on the BRIDGE ACT found here


Refugee Resettlement

The United States is a country with a rich history of welcome and a longstanding commitment to protecting the vulnerable. Our current refugee resettlement program was birthed out of WWII when the U.S. championed the way in humanitarian aid and reconstruction through offering resettlement to hundreds of thousands displaced by the war, including Holocaust survivors. Since then, the U.S. has continued to offer resettlement to refugees from around the world. Today's global refugee crisis may be the single greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. There are over 65 million individuals displaced across the globe, including 21 million refugees. Now, more than ever, policy makers at all levels need to hear from their constituents who want to welcome refugees and support a strong refugee resettlement program. Use your voice to urge national, state and local officials to preserve and strengthen our country's refugee resettlement program!

Use Your Voice to Help Refugees

Call

  • Call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with your Representatives and Senators. You will need to make three separate calls to reach each office.
  • Sample text:
    • "Hi, I'm from [CITY, STATE], and I'm calling to let you know that I welcome refugees and support the U.S. refugee resettlement program. I urge you to do so also. Resettlement is an American legacy offering a lifeline to those fleeing unimaginable violence. It's a chance for refugees to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. I welcome refugees and urge you to reflect the very best of our country by supporting and protecting refugee resettlement in the United States."
    • Share why refugee resettlement is important to you and the benefits you've seen refugees bring to our community, your faith walk or your workplace. Let them know the actions you're taking to show love and care for refugees in your community.

Tweet

  • Find your Senators' and Representatives' Twitter handles here. Find your Govenor's Twitter handle here. Find your state legislators' Twitter handles here
  • Sample text:
    • @REPNAME, my community stands #WithRefugees. Show that #AmericaWelcomes by supporting US refugee resettlement! #WeWelcomeRefugees
    • #Refugees bring talents, perspectives and skills to our communities. @REPNAME, protect and resettle refugees! #WeWelcomeRefugees
    • Our #refugee brothers and sisters make our communities stronger. @REPNAME, support US refugee resettlement #WeWelcomeRefugees

Write

  • Mail in a letter expressing your support for refugee resettlement and send it to your representatives and local government officials.
  • Download sample letters here.
  • Find contact information, including mailing address, here

Not sure who your representatives are? Use your zipcode to find out here!

Find additional ways to advocate and sign up to receive World Relief's advocacy newsletter.


Are you looking for more information on the refugee crisis immigration debate from a Christian perspective?

Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion, & Truth in the Immigration Debate is co-authored by World Relief Staff, Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang (Yang)

Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis is co-authored by Stephan Bauman and World Relief staff Matthew Soerens and Issam Smeir.