News on Refugees and Other Updates

Dear Community Members,

We wish we had a lot of good news for you. While we’ve been able to help immigrant families with supplemental funding for housing, applications, attorney fees, and have been able to provide local drivers and drivers to Indy and Chicago, as well as other paths to familiarity and comfort in Bloomington, nevertheless there have been terrible developments on the federal level.

GHASTLY POLICY IS IMMINENT REGARDING REFUGEES: (From HIAS – Hebrew Immigration Aid Society): The Trump Administration announced that it intends to lower the refugee admissions ceiling for Fiscal Year 2020 to 18,000. This tragically low number holds severe consequences for the U.S. Resettlement Program and our historic commitment to welcome. 
Even worse is a new executive order signed by the president, allowing states and municipalities the unprecedented power to veto refugee resettlement – effectively a state-by-state, city-by-city refugee ban.

Urgent action is needed:

Share HIAS’ public statements on the proposed refugee ceiling and the Executive Order

Send a message to your Members of Congress asking them to speak out on behalf of higher refugee admissions 

Call your governors and mayors to ensure that they will welcome refugees in their states and communities, in response to the new Executive Order. 

The new limit—just slightly more than half the number of refugees accepted during the current fiscal year—is in line with the administration’s crackdown on all forms of immigration. It comes as the number of refugees fleeing violence and persecution around the world has swelled to 71 million people, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the highest number of displaced people since World War II.

NOTE FROM BRSN: These policies both mirror existing trends in Europe, and at the same time inspire the expansion and intractability of movements in Europe and elsewhere. Never has there been a more critical time to fight hard for refugees and immigrants to find shelter in this country and in Bloomington itself where, with all of us working together, we have shown that we can support them, and give them safety, health, comfort, and friendship.

Bear in mind that the U.S. has certainly done its share, via its environmental, economic, and military policies, to create this crisis. Our global leadership role, our most basic human compassion, and our deepest moral sense do compel us to fight these inhumane policies, and to do it now. This will impact displaced persons all over the globe – 71 million suffering people. Attached is a sheet of advocacy templates and also the contact information for national and Indiana District 9 state legislators.

IDENTITARIANISM IN THE U.S.: The political group, Indivisible, and the national NGO — Southern Poverty Law Center (which tracks extremist and hate groups throughout the U.S.), have been researching Identitarianism in the U.S. Our Network (BRSN) is concerned with discrimination and hate at all times, but particularly, of course, when it impacts, or threatens to impact, the refugees, asylum seekers, Dreamers, and other immigrants seeking a safe home here in the U.S. Check out: Indivisible and SPLC — Identitarianism

THE BORDER IS HERE — LOCAL ENFORCEMENT LAWS: On a different note but quite critical, is dealing with the impact of local immigration enforcement. There will be a public discussion on Wed., Nov. 6, from 7-8:30 at the MCPL (see Events of Interest, attached).

ESL AND CAREER CERTIFICATIONS: The next new student registration for English language learners is this week, October 3 and 4.  

Some of our English language classes offer industry-recognized certifications, such as Early Childhood Education, Microsoft Office, and Entrepreneurship & Small Business!

Contact:          Rob Moore, Director of Adult Education
MCCSC, Broadview Learning Center
705 W. Coolidge Dr., Bloomington, IN 47403
Phone 812-330-7731

P.S. I will be away in Greece Oct. 5 – 17, and hope to meet with some of the refugees and immigrants there (Greece’s refugee camps have been in disastrous shape, but the govt. there is moving refugees to apartments.) In May 2018, the number of refugees and migrants in Greece stood at more than 60,000, including about 14,000 on the islands. Smaller country than ours, much tougher economic circumstances, but they are doing so much more than us.

Because we are all working hard and working together, our community will continue to take good care of immigrants in our community. You already have done so much, and have made the world a better place. Let’s never give up the challenge!

ATTACHMENTS: Events of Interest; CJAM Gala; Advocacy Templates; Contact Information

Thank you for everything you’ve done, and take good care,
Diane Legomsky, Chair
Bloomington Refugee Support Network, Inc.