This time last year, I was attending the United Nations General Assembly’s Summit for Refugees and Migrants where the pivotal New York Declaration was signed. United Nations member states committed to do more to solve the global refugee crisis.
The UNGA this week was again in session. Leaders like Queen Rania of Jordan are calling us, and the wealthy nations of the world, to task. Countries like Jordan are doing far more of their fair share in helping to solve the global refugee crisis, and furthermore, are buckling under the strain.
Meanwhile, here in America, we have virulent anti-refugee voices in positions of national leadership while we also have a robust, strong, committed and growing movement to welcome refugees in communities across the country. We in resettlement had been working, preparing and gearing up to welcome 110,000 refugees this fiscal year alone.
Whole communities have organized to save lives and welcome refugees. Yet, as the administration debates lowering the refugee admissions ceiling for fiscal year 2018 to the lowest levels in history, the work of refugee resettlement and protection teeters on the edge. But the welcoming movement won't be quieted. We may be down, but we are not out.
We are welcomers; and we stand with nations that are speaking with a moral clarity and conviction desperately needed. We’ll continue fighting for an American tomorrow that respects the dignity of every human being, and honors the worth, value and contributions of all our citizens and residents — immigrants, refugees, and the native-born.
America is stronger because of our diversity, not in spite of it.
Allison Duvall is a member of Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, is vice president of the executive council of the Diocese of Lexington. She serves as the manager for Church Relations & Engagement for Episcopal Migration Ministries.