As we face the largest refugee crisis in decades, with over 65 million people displaced around the world, it is critical for individuals and communities across the United States to take action. One of the most meaningful ways you can do that is by developing a relationship with your elected officials, educating them about refugees, and urging them to support positive policies. It is important that policymakers at the national, state, and local level understand that 1) their constituents care about refugees, and 2) that refugees are their constituents—they live, work, and contribute to their communities, obtain U.S. citizenship, and vote.
When elected officials hear from their constituents, they act accordingly. Establishing and nurturing relationships with your legislators (Senators, Representative, Governor, Mayor, County Executive, State Legislators, etc.) is critical to enacting legislation that supports refugees and preventing harmful policies from being enacted. The most important part of any advocacy action is storytelling—a story about your personal connection to refugee issues, a story about how your community welcomes refugees and other newcomers, or a story about the positive contribution refugees make to your community.