The Future Of Refugees Hangs In The Balance

Hello Neighbor responds to President Biden's recent announcement to maintain the Trump-era refugee ceiling.

April 20, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

On April 16th, the Biden Administration announced that it would maintain the Trump-era ceiling of 15,000 refugee admissions, a devastating reversal of his pre-election promise and recent announcement. Later that day the announcement was amended to say that President Biden would set a final determination for the remainder of the fiscal year by May 15th.

We are frustrated and disappointed by this decision and broken hearted for the refugee families around the world and here in Pittsburgh who continue to seek safety and reunification for and with their loved ones.

We continue to stand strong and in solidarity with our newest neighbors, today and everyday.

At Hello Neighbor our focus has never been solely on the numbers, but the people that those numbers represent. People who fear for their lives in their home countries, who face persecution and violence. By some estimates, up to 86% of refugees have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and likely even more come to the U.S. with complex trauma histories. These are families who often would not leave their country if they were not forced out. In some cases people who had gone through a multi-year process with extensive background checks and were ready to get onto a plane are waiting to reunite with families here in the U.S.

We continue to support our refugee and immigrant neighbors both locally through our many programs and nationally through the Hello Neighbor Network.

We are both outraged by the numbers and the shift in policy priorities and intimately understand how that impacts our neighbors, new neighbors, and future neighbors. Those in our national Network across the country are engaged, listening and learning from the experiences of refugees and, together, reimagining and advocating for a future in which they will be welcomed into neighborhoods that are safe and healing. Our community is stepping up to advocate on behalf of their newest neighbors and asking about ways in which they can continue to support refugee and immigrant families here in Pittsburgh.

Here are 3 ways you can act now and show your support:

  1. Contact your local representatives - Let them know that you are advocating in support of raising the refugee admissions cap immediately.
  2. Donate to show your support - Help us continue to stand with our refugee and immigrant neighbors in this critical time.
  3. Spread the word - Share our posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to educate your networks on this important issue and ways to get involved.

From day one we have stood with our refugee and immigrant neighbors advocating for the welcoming communities that we know are possible. We will continue to build communities where we belong to one other.

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