UPDATE: Since this story was posted, there has been another executive order suspending the refugee resettlement program. This was subsequently challenged in US courts and halted nationwide. Still, our work continues. Join us on this journey. Read the original post below to learn how you can continue to support refugees.
On January 27, President Trump signed an executive order suspending the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, indefinitely banning Syrian refugees, and reducing the fiscal year’s arrivals from 110,000 to 50,000 people, among other measures.
KRM has welcomed over 15,000 refugees since 1990, and we will continue our work to make Kentucky home for refugees. We are proud to be a part of the Louisville and Lexington communities. Will you join us?
How You Can Support Refugees
understand the executive orders
Read how the first order will impact refugees and immigrants around the world, thanks to resources from Refugee Center Online. If you are a refugee or work with refugees, you can follow that link to find information translated into multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Farsi, French, Karen, Kurdish, Nepali, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
Update: you can also read an important update about how parts of the executive order have been challenged in US courts. The reduction of refugee arrivals to 50,000 people for this year is still in effect.
UPDATE: The second executive order also lowered the annual ceiling. When it was halted nationwide, the ceiling returned to the original number of 110,000 refugees.
continue civic engagement
Although the executive order has passed, you can still voice your support for refugees and your opposition to this order by contacting the White House, Congress, and state and local government officials. Don’t forget — you can also call and thank your representatives who actively support refugee resettlement. There are many advocacy resources available with instructions, contact information, and tips on what to expect when calling. Here are some places to start: Refugee Council USA and Interfaith Immigration.
give to local resettlement agencies
In Kentucky, there are refugee resettlement agencies in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, and Owensboro. Find one nearest you and offer your financial support to help maintain services for refugees already in our state who seek support finding work and rebuilding their lives. Here is the list of refugee resettlement agencies by state.
invest in a refugee’s future
You can help a refugee in Kentucky start anew and support their family. Learn about KRM’s employment services and become one of the 200+ Kentucky employers that hires refugees.
Refugees and immigrants are human beings. This executive order will prevent many people from reuniting with family and friends and stoke anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment.
Show your welcome and support by volunteering with resettlement agencies and community centers. You can tutor kids after school, practice English with adults, or help someone find their first job in the U.S. Please be patient if you are a new volunteer at an agency, because most organizations that serve vulnerable populations require volunteers to complete an application process. We appreciate your understanding.
attend community-building events
Show up in your community for events that celebrate inclusion, diversity, and cross-cultural exchange. Be vulnerable and put yourself out there to learn, grow, and build a stronger community that welcomes refugees and immigrants.
KRM is part of a coalition organizing a statewide event called Refugee and Immigrant Day at the Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, on February 16. Join us for part of the day or help us beforehand by writing letters to state representatives. You can find more information at the link above.
write cards of welcome to refugees
The order bars refugees from arriving for 120 days. Write cards or letters for those families who are already here and for those who will arrive after the suspension is lifted. On the cards, you can write welcome in different languages. Get the kids involved by drawing pictures and adding stickers. Drop them off at KRM or deliver them to our offices so staff can get them into the hands of refugee families.
other ways to support refugees and immigrants
Put a sign of welcome in multiple languages outside your home or business for your neighbors to see. Support immigrant-owned businesses and restaurants in your community.
spread the word
Share your support of refugees with others — your neighbors, classmates, colleagues, friends, and family. Lift up the stories of refugees and share the facts about the resettlement screening process. Do not let fear or misinformation drive our communities to shut the door on refugees.
Stay in the loop
Follow KRM’s social media channels to hear about news, events, ways to get involved, and stories from refugees in our community.