Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Urgent: Tell your Senator to welcome Syrian and Iraqi refugees

Tomorrow, Wednesday January 20, the Senate plans to vote on H.R. 4038, the "American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act." This bill, already passed by the House, would effectively shut down the resettlement program for vulnerable Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Please ask your Senator to vote NO on this bill.

Such proposals and the anti-refugee sentiment that has accompanied them are morally reprehensible and go against who we are as a nation. It is critical that Senators hear from their constituents NOW. 

Call Now 1-888-897-9753

NOW is the time to tell your Senators to oppose H.R. 4038.

Sample script:

"Hello, my name is [NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY]. As a person of faith, I support the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the United States. I am opposed to any bill that would stop or pause the resettlement of refugees of any nationality or religion. I urge the senator to vote NO on H.R. 4038, the American SAFE Act."

It is especially important to call if your Senator is a Democrat -- we are hearing that many are at risk of voting for this dangerous bill.

If it is helpful to you, here are some points on the security checks involved in refugee resettlement, which is the focus of this legislation. But remember, the most important pieces to lift up are your personal story, faith belief, and why your community wants to welcome refugees.

  • The U.S. government handpicks the refugees who resettle here, and the U.S. resettlement process has the most rigorous screening in the world.
  • Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted people to come to the United States, undergoing inter-agency screenings by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense, National Counter Terrorism Center, and multiple intelligence agencies. Refugees undergo biometric checks, forensic document testing, medical tests, and in-person interviews.
  • Continuing refugee resettlement while maintaining national security is not an either/or situation. The United States can continue to welcome refugees while also ensuring national security. We can and must do both.

You can also send a letter with the same message to your Senator by going to

Photo: First Syrian refugee family arrives in Toronto, Canada, December 9, 2015. Photo by Flickr user Domnic Santiago / Licensed CC BY 2.0.