Where Are Our Families?
It has been 169 days since our community welcomed our last refugee family.
Since then, President Trump’s third and final refugee travel ban has ended and a new federal fiscal year has begun. After much deliberation, President Trump announced that 45,000 refugees would be admitted to the US in this new fiscal year (from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018). Canopy NWA was told that 75 of those refugees would come to Northwest Arkansas. But 4 months into Fiscal Year 2018, our community has received 0. None.
SO WE’RE STARTING TO ASK: WHERE ARE OUR FAMILIES?
In case you were wondering, this isn’t just an Arkansas problem. As a country, we’ve admitted 5,323 refugees so far. That puts us on pace to admit a mere 20,000 refugees this year—less than half of what was promised. That means that communities just like ours all across the US are asking themselves the same question: The ban is over, the president set a goal of 45,000, so why aren’t our families coming?
We don’t know the answer, but we do know the facts. We know that the Department of Homeland Security has greatly reduced the number of employees it is sending to conduct security interviews and medical screenings in the refugee camps. We also know that the President has questioned why he would want to admit immigrants from “sh*thole countries” such as Haiti, El Salvador and African countries. This leads us to wonder whether this administration is actually making an effort to admit the 45,000 refugees they have been funded to admit.
It is time for us to hold the president and the people who work for him at the State Department and Department of Homeland Security accountable to admit the 45,000 refugees they promised.To do that, we need our representatives in Washington to join us in asking “Where are our families?” Our Members of Congress have the authority to ask why these agencies are on pace to admit less than half the number of refugees in their mandate. We need them to exercise that authority on our behalf.
Help us welcome our families home.
call our representatives:
Last week, our very own Congressman Womack was appointed to become Chair of the House Budget Committee. That puts him in the perfect position to act on our behalf on this issue. He has repeatedly emphasized his support for our work and our refugee families, so we ask him to join us is asking: #WhereAreOurFamilies?
Call his DC office and tell him to ask the Department of Homeland Security why they aren't admitting our refugee families (202) 225-4301
"Absence" A Temporary Art Installation
At 11 am on Tuesday, January 30, Canopy NWA will unveil a new temporary installation at St. Martin's Campus Center (814 W Maple St.) titled “Absence.” This installation symbolizes our community’s sorrow and frustration over efforts to hamper refugee admissions to the US—efforts that have kept 40 refugee men, women and children from being able to travel to their new home in Northwest Arkansas for over a year. Visitors to the installation will be prompted to join Canopy NWA in asking our elected representatives #WhereAreOurFamilies?
prayer vigil in solidarity with Dreamers, TPS, refugees
Join us Tuesday, January 30 at 8:15 pm at St. Martin's (814 W Maple) in Fayetteville for a prayer vigil in solidarity with Dreamers, TPS holders, and refugees. In this moment of confusion over the status of the DACA program, the end of TPS for Salvadorans and other national groups, and direct attacks on the refugee admissions program, we invite our community to gather with us in prayer and solidarity for our immigrant neighbors.
When: Tuesday, February 20th
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: Big Brothers Big Sisters Offices located at 91 W. Colt Square, Suite 1, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703
Why: Refugees need our collective voices now more than ever! At the national and local level, refugee resettlement is at an all-time low. Our representatives need to hear from our community, who has supported us every step of the way. They need to know that refugee resettlement is important to Northwest Arkansans. You'll learn about Canopy's mission, the nuts and bolts of refugee resettlement, and Canopy's current "ask". You'll learn how to craft your "ask" and what the most effective strategies are when it comes to influencing our representatives.
Contact Miranda Black, Canopy's Volunteer Coordinator to sign-up or for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us on a trip to Capitol Hill!
Canopy is headed to Washington DC March 15-16 to meet with our representatives-- and we want you to come with us!
Deadline to register is February 2 and space is limited.