Target: John Kasich, Governor of Ohio
Goal: Develop programs and events to educate and prepare the public for the refugees being resettled in their neighborhoods.
States taking in refugees need to better educate their citizens about the immigration process. This summer, Amnesty International hosted meetings in towns in Vermont to prepare its citizens for refugee resettlement, and the same action needs to take place in all states, especially those taking in a large amount of asylum seekers, like Michigan, Ohio, California, and Texas. The U.S. is placing refugees in these locations because they have higher Arab populations. Placing these people in communities that share their heritage and culture helps them integrate better because they can interact with people who speak their language and who will help teach them how to live in America. Educating the public helps to dissuade hate.
Many who attended the meetings in Vermont found them to be very educational. Speakers expressed that American immigration policy is very strict and does not make it easy for anyone to enter the country. They also informed citizens of the conditions these refugees are coming from and why it is so important for a country with so much to offer them aid. Call on the governor of your state, and especially those of Michigan, Ohio, California, and Texas, to stop speaking out against refugees and instead start programs and host events to help integrate them into their new homes and country.
Dear Governor Kasich,
The recent surge of refugees to your state has caused outrage among many, and most governors across America have said they don’t want refugees resettled in their jurisdictions. These comments do not show support for the large Arab populations in states like Ohio, Michigan, Texas, and California, and they do not portray America as a welcoming place. Taking in these refugees is important but what’s equally as important is preparing your citizens for their new neighbors.
States like Vermont have already started to do this. In towns where refugees have not even been resettled yet, Amnesty International volunteers have educated citizens about where refugees come from and why it is important to welcome them. Additionally, it explains the strict immigration policy America enforces and how it is not easy for anyone to gain admittance. We ask that you develop programs and host events to better prepare your citizens for the refugees resettling in their communities.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: McHaron