This is unacceptable. Thousands of families are fleeing Syria and Iraq to escape violence and death, a direct outgrowth of our illegal and horribly destructive war on Iraq. These people need protection, not hate speech directed at them and laws passed to keep them out of our country. We can and must do more to help and to push back against the hatred. To that end, we have formed a working group called “Maryland Welcomes Refugees.” If you are interested in getting involved, let us know. Check out the new page on our Web site for a few resources--and send us suggestions to update and expand our page.
Call Congress: Stand with Refugees and Demand a Clean Budget Bill
Congress was supposed to pass a spending bill by Friday, Dec. 11, to keep the government open, but no deal has yet been reached. They are now planning to pass a short-term bill to give themselves a few more days of negotiations. The text of the "omnibus budget bill" is expected to be introduced in the House on Monday, with a vote coming possibly next Wednesday or Thursday. Republicans are insisting on adding destructive “riders” that would strike down environmental protections, undermine labor rights, gut consumer protections and the few shreds that still remain of campaign finance reform, and end President Obama’s immigration reforms.
One rider would block desperate Syrian and Iraqi refugees from being admitted to the United States.
If passed, these riders will mean that low-income borrowers will go back to paying upwards of 400 percent interest on small loans; housing will cost more; pollution will hurt more; and workers will be less protected from wage theft and less able to form a union.
If the Syrian refugee rider stands, we will have sold out core American values to score political points.
Make your voice heard TODAY. Call your Members of Congress and urge them to block any attempts to close our borders to refugees or to add other destructive riders to the budget bill. Here’s how:
1. Call the Capitol toll-free at 1-877-429-0678
2. Ask to speak with your Representative. Rep. John Delaney voted with the Republicans recently to deny Syrian refugees an opportunity for safe haven. He needs to hear from all of us.
3. Tell your Representative’s office:
“I strongly support the resettlement of Syrian refugees. I urge your office to resist efforts, such as riders to the omnibus budget bill, that would slam the door on refugees. I support a clean budget bill.”
4. Repeat this process to call your Senators.
While we should be careful, smart, and vigilant with everyone who wants to come to our country, we should not lose our humanity by judging our fellow human beings guilty simply because of where they’re from. People fleeing horrific violence, persecution, and repression deserve compassion, not hatred. We can welcome them and still protect American security.
Know the score: How did Maryland senators and representatives vote in 2013 and 2014 on issues related to peace? Check out our list of votes of representatives in Maryland.
Resources and friends: We work closely with national, state and county-based peace and justice groups. Here are some of those with whom we collaborate.