October 2015 E-Advocacy
Sep 29 , 2015/Category

Welcome to e-advocacy at CRS!                                   

In the spirit of tikkun olam, every month we feature a cause that needs YOU.  Please read about what we are doing to help:

This month, we are focused on the refugee crisis.  Media images of the level of desperation are wrenching portraits of the perilous flight to seek safety.

Millions of Syrian and Middle Eastern people are fleeing the violence in that region. Many have sought safety in Europe, taking dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean. While some Middle Eastern and European countries have welcomed these refugees, others are closing their borders.

Each year the United States grants residency to 70,000 refugees from around the world. Only a small number of these refugees have been Syrian because the residency process requires an extensive background check that typically takes about 2 years. Recently, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. will increase the number of refugees that it is willing to accept in 2016 to 85,000. The number of refugees accepted in the U.S. in 2017 will be increased to 100,000. However, this only amounts to welcoming 45,000 more refugees over a two-year period. More than 4 million Syrians are seeking a new home now. As a nation, we can and should do more to help.

“We are told to care for the stranger 36 times throughout the Torah – to love the stranger, to welcome the stranger, to protect the stranger. This is not just a commandment but also a central Jewish value. Our forefather Abraham and foremother Sarah opened their tent wide and welcomed guests to take refuge in their home, providing them with food and drink and a place to rest.

As a people, this is also our story. From the biblical Israelites to the Jews of the Soviet Union, time and time again, we have had to flee our homelands in search of safety due to violence and persecution. Based on our values and rooted in our own history, we have a responsibility to respond to today’s refugees” (A Guide to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, HIAS, 2015)

Click here to urge President Obama and Congress to take meaningful steps to address the refugee crisis by welcoming 85,000 additional Syrian refugees above the new 85,000 2016 cap. This measure would be a powerful signal to the world that we are ready to do our part. Then we will have standing to ask other nations to do more.