House of Deputies

Cabinet confirmation hearings begin tomorrow

The Senate tomorrow begins confirmation hearings on President-elect Trump's cabinet nominees. This is an opportunity for Episcopalians to urge their senators to determine where the nominees stand on one of the most important humanitarian issues of our day: the resettlement of refugees in the United States.

Call your senators and ask them to pose the following questions, provided by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. The Episcopal Church is a member of the coalition, and the questions are endorsed by the Office of Government Relations:

  • The U.S. refugee resettlement program has operated for more than 40 years, always with bipartisan support. Refugees are rigorously vetted by the Department of Defense, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and National Counter Terrorism Center. Resettlement is critical to refugees, communities that welcome them, and U.S. diplomatic efforts on regional stability, international security and the war on global terror. Will you affirm the importance of the refugee resettlement program?
  • Many U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are waiting to be reunited with an immediate family member through the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Family reunification is a fundamental human need, helps refugees integrate in their communities, and is part of U.S. obligations under the Refugee Convention. Will you affirm the importance of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, especially in the case of family reunification?
  • Do you believe that immigrants from certain nationalities or religions should be barred from the United States and/or tracked/surveilled while in the United States? If so, how would you defend this position given our country's legacy and laws regarding religious freedom, civil liberties and equal protection?

More information, including a list of Senate committees preparing for these hearings and senators' contact information can be found on the Interfaith Immigration Coalition website.

Visit the website of the Archives of the Episcopal Church to read General Convention resolutions about refugees dating back to 1979.