Greetings Friends of Refugee Resettlement,
In today’s newsletter… an update on the national news, CFC arrival numbers for February and an advocacy ask that would provide a boost for our resettlement program - please help if you can – this state support would be a tremendous help toward maintaining our capacity . Lastly there are a couple of local upcoming events in support of refugees.
ADVOCACY ACTION ITEM
Our NY State legislators are contemplating providing state money for temporary support for resettlement agencies to offset federal funding cuts expected due to the White House moves to halt and then reduce refugee admissions. A link to the news story is here:
CFC is supporting this initiative as it would do much to ensure we are able to maintain capacity through the refugee admission halt and subsequent expected slow restart of admissions. If you support this measure too, please help and contact your legislators Today and Through Next Week! as legislators will be home in their districts next week. It’s easy and a good way to flex your civic power. Simply phone, email or post a message to both your assemblyperson and senator. A template letter is available for your use here. You can copy the template and email or post it or use the language when you call by phone (leaving a message is good too!). You could also ask to visit your legislator since they should be in their home district next week.
At present the refugee admission ban is on hold due to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel decision so resettlement agencies are still able to receive new refugee arrivals. President Trump's Administration may continue to pursue that battle in the courts, although it seems more likely now that they will just issue another executive order next week to supersede the previous order and which could take more immediate effect.
Regardless of which path the Administration takes, it seems likely that the section of the original EO that included the gravest impact on refugee arrivals will remain – namely section 5(d) of the original executive order that stipulated that the U.S. lower its national refugee admissions ceiling from 110,000 for the 2017 fiscal year, to 50,000. What this means is that only 15,000 more refugees will be allowed admission in the next 7 month period, March through September 2017. To put that into context, in the same 7 month period last year, the U.S. welcomed 62,000 refugees. We also expect that that lowered annual ceiling of 50,000 refugee admissions will be in effect for the coming federal fiscal year that begins October 1, 2017.
Our national offices have informed us that while the executive order halting the refugee program is argued in court or until it is superseded by another order, we will continue to receive refugee case arrivals at least through March 3rd. The cases that we will receive will include: 1) cases that were previously scheduled to travel between Jan. 30 and Feb. 17; and 2) all cases that had booking notices for Feb. 20 through the end of March that were cancelled due to the Executive Order. We will also continue to resettle a handful of SIV cases and some Cuban entrants. Since the executive order was issued on Jan. 27th, CFC has resettled 13 case families totaling 42 individuals and is scheduled to receive 8 case families of 21 individuals over the next two weeks. We should learn soon if we should expect any non-SIV case refugee arrivals after March 3rd.
***** University of Rochester – Songs in Solidarity*****
When: Saturday, February 25th, 7:30pm - 9pm
Where: University of Rochester River Campus, Eastman Quad
Description: Join students and faculty from all UR undergraduate, graduate and professional schools in an evening of singing and solidarity in support refugees, immigrants and all vulnerable members of our community. See event flyer here.
*****Christ Church – Voices from Refugees*****
When: Saturday, March 18th, 7pm - 8 pm
Where: Christ Church 141 East Ave. Rochester, New York 14604
Description: Hosted by the youth of Christ Church and neighbor churches. Come join in an interfaith gathering at Christ Church for readings from interviews with youth refugees the world over, interfaith prayer and a bake sale after to raise funds for refugee resettlement in Rochester.
As always, thank you for your continued support!