40 Years of JRS, 40 Years of Welcome in the U.S. – Take Action Today

17 March 2020

2020 marks not only 40 years of the Jesuit Refugee Service, but March 17, 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Refugee Act of 1980, which formally created the U.S. refugee resettlement program. With broad bi-partisan support, this legislation  helped assert U.S. global leadership and committed the United States “to respond to the urgent needs of persons subject to persecution in their homelands.”

Since that time more than 3 million people have found refuge in the United States. People like Alain, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo who was recently resettled in Minnesota. Alain and his family fled from war and violence, only to live in a refugee camp for ten years. After being welcomed to the United States, Alain is now pursuing his degree so that he can help others. Click here to read Alain’s story.

In the past 3 years, the number of people resettled to the United States through this program has dramatically dropped. The life-saving refugee resettlement program has been cut by more than 80 percent, while the global  need still exists. The UN estimates that 1.4 million refugees face extreme vulnerabilities or family reunification needs for which they are in critical need of resettlement.

We are stronger when we work together as neighbors, communities, and countries. The Refugee Act embodies this spirit of collaboration and solidarity, including to support the most vulnerable among us. Please join us in honoring the legacy of the Refugee Act of 1980 by calling on our policymakers to promote refugee resettlement in the U.S.

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