Want to be an advocate, but don’t want to get into an argument? Our friends at Refugee Council USA have developed some very nice resources for “Handling Difficult Conversations” about refugee resettlement and immigration policy.

One method of communication that the Refugee Council recommends is the sharing of not just data, but stories, too! That’s a method we know a lot about at IINE!

Since the U.S. refugee resettlement program began in 1980, the International Institute of New England has resettled more than 15,000 refugees in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. We have worked with local government, education and healthcare partners to provide initial supports for individuals and families from 70 countries. Over time, the refugees resettled by IINE reciprocate by creating businesses, raising families, buying homes, paying taxes, revitalizing neighborhoods, and contributing in profound ways to our economy and culture. It is critical that our country – a nation built by and for immigrants – continues to give safe harbor to refugees and immigrants whose vitality and energy is the foundation of the nation’s and our region’s growth.

We invite you to advocate with us by taking action below, and make certain refugees will always be welcome in the U.S. Thank you!

Employers who see the economic value of refugees in their businesses can sign on to this letter of support.

Refugees stay with their employers longer, resulting in a demonstrably lower turnover rate than other employee cohorts. In addition, refugee employees tend to help employers recruit other workers.

New federal policy (still pending) will require states, cities, and towns to actively pledge to accept refugees into their communities. Make sure your neighborhood welcomes some of the world’s most vulnerable people by engaging your local policymakers.

Once they are resettled, refugees learn the new language, adjust to the different culture, and strive to establish a new life. But in the process, they also enrich and bring cultural vibrancy and diversity to their local communities.

People who think the U.S. has a moral obligation to welcome refugees should encourage their U.S. Reps and Senators to sign on to the GRACE Act.

“I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.” – George Washington 

OpEd: The Third Narrative about Immigrants: Why We Need Them As Much As They Need Us

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” For some, the words of poet Emma Lazarus, which have adorned the Statue of Liberty for over 100 years, are a call to help those who are suffering. For others, like Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the poem conjures fear that those who come to our shores, […]

Click here to read the Op-Ed

New American Economy: Lowell Report

New Americans in Lowell is a report by New American Economy that examines the fiscal importance of refugees and immigrants in that city. The report found immigrants living in Lowell were responsible for almost 90 percent of the area’s population growth between 2012 and 2017.[…]

Click here to read more about it