The parable of the good Samaritan is one of the best-known stories in Scripture. This story resonates with people because it touches on something core to our identity as humans: that we have a moral responsibility to care for one another, and that how we react when we see someone suffering says something important about who we are.
I thought about this yesterday as President Donald Trump announced dramatic cuts to our refugee resettlement program. The administration plans to accept no more than 18,000 refugees next year—the lowest goal since the program was created in 1980, and a fraction of the 110,000 pledged in 2016.
‘The U.S. should be open to those who seek refuge from violence and persecution. Diminishing the number of people allowed in the United States as refugees diminishes us as a nation.’ - Diane Randall
More troubling, the administration released an executive order that, if it goes into place, would allow states and localities to refuse to resettle refugees in their communities.
These cuts are immediately devastating to the millions of families who are displaced by violent conflict and persecution the world over. The lasting impacts will also be felt for years to come. As the number of refugees resettled continues to decline, the organizations and infrastructure used to welcome them into our communities are being dismantled. Even if the U.S. expands the program again in the future, it could take a decade to scale these efforts back up.
In response to this news, Diane Randall wrote: “The U.S. should be open to those who seek refuge from violence and persecution. Diminishing the number of people allowed in the United States as refugees diminishes us as a nation.”
We must speak out to ensure that our communities continue to be a place of safety and welcome for refugee families. Want to help? Write a letter the editor of your local paper. Email your name, city, and state to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you with the writing and submission process.