Help for Afghan Refugees - Contact Your Representatives!

  

Action Alert update on 2/2/2022! 36,000 Afghan refugees need our help! As people of faith, we believe every human being, made in the image of the Divine, is deserving of a life free from fear, a life of peace and security. 

Faith traditions from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha’i, Hindu, and many others all call upon us to welcome the stranger and care for those in need.

 

Today, 36,000 Afghan refugees are in our country, brought here by our government in a hurried evacuation last August, as our military pulled out of Afghanistan.  The intention was good, to save the lives of those Afghan citizens, and their families, who had helped our military or otherwise were in danger from the Taliban.

 

Some of these refugees qualified to enter under special visas for those who aided our military. However, many do not qualify for this visa, and instead, were brought in under a different system, called humanitarian parole. Unfortunately, humanitarian parole only allows someone to live and work in the U.S. for up to two years, during which time they have to go through the regular asylum process. Due to the backlog in current asylum cases, this process can take years, during which time, the Afghan refugees would be at risk for losing their jobs and even for deportation. As a result, many of these people are now living in limbo, uncertain of their status and not knowing if they will be allowed to remain in the US.

 

The Afghan Adjustment Act was introduced into Congress several months ago to relieve this problem.  The Act would allow Afghan refugees to by-pass the regular asylum process and, after one year of residence, apply for permanent residence status.

 

Unfortunately, this Act has languished in Congress.  That is where you come in!

 

Please contact your Congress memberSenator Baldwin, and Senator Ron Johnson today and urge them to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act without further delay!

 

Your advocacy is vital to providing our Afghan friends and allies the safety and security we all deserve!

Resources for more information:

HIAS Fact Sheet: https://www.hias.org/sites/default/files/factsheet_afghan_adjustment_act_november_2021.pdf

 

Roll Call article:

https://rollcall.com/2022/02/01/thousands-of-afghan-evacuees-in-legal-limbo-in-us/

 

Church World Service Action Alert:

https://cwsglobal.org/action-alerts/urgent-take-action-urge-congress-to-support-our-communities-in-welcoming-refugees-pass-an-afghan-adjustment-act/

 

CBS News Report:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghan-evacuees-lack-pathway-to-permanent-legal-status-in-the-u-s/

 

Action Alert from: 


Rabbi Bonnie Margulis
Executive Director
Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice
608-513-7121

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The following request came to WFVJ through our friends at the Wisconsin Council of Churches.  Please respond to volunteer@wichurches.org if you are able to help out. We need volunteers who would make a commitment of volunteering regularly; either volunteering once a week for a set time (for example, every Tuesday for 8 weeks) or people who would like to go up to Ft. McCoy and stay for a week (there is housing on base available).

Volunteers must:

Commit to long-term volunteering, either coming for a week at a time (housing is provided) or scheduling a regular day(s) for a period of 6+ weeks or so (i.e. every Thursday; every Friday).

Understand that this is hard work. These volunteer positions require high energy, intercultural competency, and flexibility.

Know that they are NOT to bring items to give away. Material donations are not being accepted. While people have the best of intentions, it actually creates problems with inequality.

Maintain boundaries. Sometimes (often) this means saying no or firmly enforcing the rules and expectations of a center. Kindness and compassion coupled with an ability to be firm and consistent with the policies of the program are essential.

Be vaccinated against COVID-19 (a booster is strongly encouraged) and commit to maintaining COVID safety (mask-wearing, etc).

Be 18 or older, provide a State ID or drivers’ license, phone and email information, and proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The WCC will hold hour-long information sessions for those who are interested in volunteering at Ft. McCoy. Sessions will include a short presentation and a time for questions and answers. If you are interested, please register below to receive a zoom link (note: the zoom link is the same for all sessions in a month, but you only need to attend one). In the sessions, we will share next steps to sign up to volunteer.


February 10 (Thursday) 10am;

February 21 (Monday) 12pm;

February 22 (Tuesday) 7pm;

Sign up for February Session


Thank you all for considering this request!

Mary Kuenning Gross

Welcoming Our Afghan Allies

Partner in Service Volunteer

(262) 271-8990

 

Note:Volunteer Opportunities with Resettled Families

 

 

We continue to collect volunteer opportunities to assist in supporting Afghan people as they are resettled in Wisconsin. Below are a few options. Sign up for our Afghan Refugee Response Newsletter where we will continue to share opportunities as they emerge.

 

·    Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition's Buddy Program - 10-16 year olds are invited to sign up to be a buddy to a newly arrived Afghan child/youth

·    Lutheran Social Services (Milwaukee) has put out a call for churches to sign up for sponsorships

·    Open Doors for Refugees has a variety of volunteer needs in the Madison area

·    New Beginnings for Refugees is collecting household items to furnish homes

 

Don't see something near you but want to help? Have an opportunity to share? Our Volunteer Coordinator, Peder Johanson is connecting with churches and non profits across Wisconsin and can help your church get connected to volunteer opportunities near you. Contact him to find out more.