6 Ways to Stand in Solidarity with Refugees
23 April 2020
Give to COVID-19 Response and Recovery NowThe Coronavirus Pandemic has impacted us all as we adjust to sheltering-in-place and social distancing. It’s a dramatic change to the way we live, but it does not need to change our commitment to accompanying, serving, and advocating on behalf of refugees and the forcibly displaced.
While following the prescribed guidelines of public health officials, Jesuit Refugee Service continues its mission to protect and serve the most vulnerable during these uncertain times.
Refugees need particular support as they are often more vulnerable to the spread of the virus. Many refugees live in overcrowded camps or urban areas, with a lack access to clean water, and are in countries with failing or stretched medical systems. Living conditions for many forcibly displaced people are so crowded that “social distancing” is not possible.
Refugees need your support more than ever.
Here are six ways you can support refugees during COVID-19:
- Join JRS/USA in Prayer for Refugees and the Forcibly Displaced: Download JRS/USA’s A Prayer for Refugees During the Time of COVID-19. Offer this prayer on your own, with your family, or with your parish community.
- Learn the Stories of Refugees: A critical part of being in solidarity with our displaced brothers and sisters includes learning and sharing their stories. Check out Dying to Live: Stories from Refugees on the Road to Freedom, and use our book discussion guide to have a virtual book club with your friends, school, or community.
- Urge Congress to Remember Refugees in our Nation’s Response to COVID-19: Refugees and other forcibly displaced people are particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. As Congress develops supplemental appropriations bills to address the impact of COVID-19, they must provide significant flexible funding to the U.S. Agency for International Development and State Department. These funds will allow the U.S. to respond to the new and increased challenges vulnerable communities, like those that JRS serves, around the globe face from the spread of COVID-19. Take Action here!
- Demand that Asylum Seekers Be Protected: In January 2019, the U.S. Government announced a new policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” which forces asylum seekers arriving at ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border to return to Mexico to wait while their claim is processed. On March 18, the U.S. Administration announced plans to quickly deport asylum seekers who present themselves at the U.S. border without due process. MPP, and other attempts to restrict asylum, violates these protections and places individuals and families in harm’s way. Rather than close down the asylum process, JRS urges the U.S. to put measures in place that manage risks to public health, but that do not deny persons seeking international protection from doing so. Take Action Here!
- Support Global Refugee Education: Schools across the globe have closed due to the pandemic. For refugee students, this is just one more interruption as many have experienced delays in their education due to displacement. As Congress continues to work on the FY21 appropriations bills, it is essential to remember that providing access to education for refugees and others who are forcibly displaced offers an important form of protection for children whose lives have been disrupted by crisis and prepares refugees to meet future challenges. Join JRS/USA in asking Congress to funding for refugee education. Take Action Here!
- Support the Work of JRS: During this unprecedented time, JRS continues to accompany, serve, and advocate for refugees and displaced people. If you can, please consider a gift. Your gift today can help those most vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.
Want to know other ways you can get involved with JRS? Check out our “How To Get Involved” Resource Page.