Welcome Refugees: A Call to Action

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A Letter to Faith Leaders

As you know, in the wake of recent global tragedies, our nation is experiencing a surge in anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Sadly, this is not new to Tennessee. Over the past several years, some organizations and legislators have worked hard to erode support for refugee resettlement. They have exploited the natural fears and anxieties of receiving communities in response to rapid demographic shifts and economic insecurity. Now, they are trying to convince us that we should look upon our new neighbors with suspicion and fear.

We know people of faith are already demonstrating hospitality and generosity towards refugee communities, but at the same time some elected officials are trying to make it harder for refugees and immigrants to call Tennessee home by proposing harmful legislation. Right now, the General Assembly is considering a number of bills that would (1) prevent refugees from resettling in Tennessee, (2) cut off critical support services that help refugee families to rebuild their lives, and (3) discriminate against people of Middle Eastern and North African descent or Muslim faith. These bills, even if they do not pass, serve to create hostile environments for our immigrant sisters and brothers.

We need your help. As people of faith from a variety of backgrounds, we are called by our sacred texts and traditions to love our neighbor, accompany the vulnerable, and welcome the sojourner. It’s time for people of faith to show up and let our elected officials know that rhetoric and policies targeting refugee, immigrant, and Muslim communities will not stand with us.

Join with us to call on our elected officials to demonstrate moral leadership, to recognize that new Americans of all faiths and backgrounds contribute to our economy, our community, and our congregations, and affirm their support for refugee resettlement in the state of Tennessee. Together we can ensure refugees continue to be welcomed in our state and receive the services they need to thrive in our communities.

Click here to join the campaign and learn how you can stand with refugees now.

We hope that in your discernment, compassion for the plight of refugees will touch your hearts and move you to action and solidarity. Join Scarritt Bennett Center and Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition in asking our elected officials to be bold in choosing moral, just policies that defend refugee resettlement, combat Islamophobia, and build more welcoming communities.



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