August Recess Advocacy

This month, Congress will be in recess and Senators and Representatives will return to their states and districts. Many of them will hold town hall meetings to engage with their constituents. These town hall meetings are an opportunity for you to urge your Congress people to take action to restore hope for millions of refugees and immigrants and to rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. This August, we are asking Congress to…

  • Urge the Biden administration to make good on its promise to welcome 125,000 refugees into the country in the coming fiscal year 
  • Repeal Title 42, allow migrant families into the country, and begin processing asylum seekers
  • Evacuate Afghan translators who worked for the U.S. military through the SIV program
  • Create a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients via budget reconciliation

Presidential Determination

After the Presidential Determination number (or the number of refugees allowed into the country for each fiscal year) was cut to a historic low of 15,000 refugees admitted per year under the Trump Administration, President Biden promised to raise the PD number if he were to win the presidency. Initially, the administration was slow to act, but after pressure from refugee organizations, he raised the admission number to 62,500 refugees via executive order in May. The White House maintains that this number will be near impossible to achieve, which is why it is necessary to hold them accountable for their promises. Further, the Biden Administration intends to set a goal of 125,000 refugee admissions for the coming fiscal year. We must urge members of Congress and the President to keep their promises and do everything in their power to meet this goal. 

Repeal Title 42 and Restore Asylum Protections

Title 42 permits the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the introduction of individuals into the U.S. when there is a danger of a communicable disease. Under Title 42, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has unjustly expelled migrants and asylum seekers at the Southern border, stopped processing all asylum seekers, and expelled 13,000 unaccompanied children at the Southern border.

Currently, with COVID-19 cases surging because of the new Delta variant and shelters at capacity, the Biden administration has begun expediting the deportation of migrant families, a reversal of their previous policy of allowing migrant families into the country. If the Biden Administration wants to expel migrants under Title 42, it must prove that there is no other way to process asylum seekers and migrants safely. Title 42 must be repealed by the administration and Customs and Border Protection must begin processing asylum seekers – unless they can prove to the American people that they do not have the resources to do so.

Evacuating All Afghan SIVs

Congress created the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program in 2009 to protect Afghan nationals who worked with the U.S. government in Afghanistan, providing them with entry into the U.S. The application process for the program has been plagued by backlogs and inefficiencies since its inception, with wait times often stretching for years. In 2021, more than 18,000 of our Afghan allies remain trapped in a slow, bureaucratic SIV process. In a survey conducted by No One Left Behind, an organization that tracks and supports our Afghan allies, 90 percent of the allies they contacted received death threats from the Taliban. We must protect our Afghan allies against these threats by expanding the amount of SIVs we provide and expediting the process as a whole. 

Under pressure from members of Congress and other groups, the Biden administration has begun evacuating thousands of Afghans who worked for the U.S. government. Only about 2,500 evacuees will be allowed directly into the U.S., with another 10,000 people whose background checks are still pending sent to other countries or U.S. military bases. While many members of Congress and organizations welcome this evacuation, they still demand that more be done to help Afghan translators–as do we. Congress and the President should…

  • Support and pass the HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act, which eliminates the burdensome medical examination requirement for SIVs 
  • Raise the cap on SIVs to 46,500 visas
  • Overhaul the process for SIV denials 
  • Provide SIV status to the family of murdered applicants. 

Pathway to Citizenship 

President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) program in 2012 as a temporary measure to prevent the deportation of undocumented adults who migrated to the United States as children. Since 2012, DACA has provided opportunities for around 650,000 immigrants, known as Dreamers, providing them with work permits and other benefits. 

On July 16, a federal judge in Texas ruled that DACA was an unlawful exercise of Presidential authority by then-President Obama. As a result, 81,000 first-time DACA applicants will now not be eligible for DACA protections. All the while, the future for current DACA recipients remains uncertain and subject to change from future court rulings and current politics. The current, most viable solution is a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders through reconciliation. The reconciliation process only requires a simple majority, rather than sixty votes to avoid the filibuster in the Senate. It is the most efficient and feasible way to create this pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS holders. DACA recipients are tax-paying, hard-working Americans who more than deserve to live out the rest of their lives in the United States with all of the benefits of full citizenship.Congress must take action to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers through reconciliation and prevent them from being deported away from the only home they have ever known. 

Raise Your Voice  

With Congress in recess, now is a good time to see your representative in person or virtually as they often hold in-district meetings and events while they are at home. New American Pathways is available to help facilitate scheduling meetings with your Congress people. If you are interested, please reach out to Ashley Coleman, Civic Engagement Program Manager, at a.coleman@newamericanpathways.org

Depending on their committee assignments, your members of Congress may have more influence when it comes to advancing certain elements of our advocacy goals. For example, Rep. Lucy McBath is on the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees consultation hearings with the State Department on how many new refugee arrivals the administration is proposing to admit each new fiscal year. Here is a list of Congress people in Georgia that have more influence on our policy goals:

  • Sen. Jon Ossoff – Judiciary, Homeland Security
    • Atlanta Office: (470) 786-7800
  • Rep Andrew Clyde (GA-9, Gainesville, Toccoa, Dawsonville and Dahlonega) – Homeland Security
    • Gainesville Office: (470) 768-6520
  • Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-4) – Judiciary
    • Decatur Office: (770) 987-2291
  • Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-6) – Judiciary
    • Sandy Springs Office: (470) 773-6330
  • Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-2, Albany, Columbus, Macon, Thomasville) – Appropriations
    • Macon: 478-803-2631; Columbus: 706-320-9477; Albany: 229-439-8067

Here is an example script to call your legislators with: 

“Hello my name is _____ , and I am a resident of _______, GA. I am calling today to you to…

  1. Urge the Biden Administration to make good on its promise to welcome 125,000 refugees into the country in the coming fiscal year
  2. Repeal Title 42 and allow asylum seekers and migrant families into the country 
  3. Evacuate Afghan translators who worked for the U.S. military through the SIV program
  4. Create a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients via budget reconciliation

Georgia is a diverse and welcoming place, and it is important that our legislators act in accordance with these values by supporting the millions of immigrants and refugees who rely on these policies. Thank you.” 

Due to COVID-19, our services may be different than what is listed. Please contact us before coming to our office.

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