Entries by Mark MacCarthy

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Save the Date... Refugee Policy Update!

Posted 1:36 PM by


Join us at St. Dunstan’s for A State Department Briefing on Refugee Admissions and Assistance.

On Tuesday June 5 at 7:30 p.m. Ambassador Mark C. Storella, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration will appear at St. Dunstan’s Parish Hall to talk about the Administration’s refugee admission program and provide a broader perspective on refugee assistance around the world and their humanitarian diplomacy on behalf of refugees, including the latest information on Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.  He will be able to answer our questions about current and future refugee admissions policy and provide guidance about how our community can take concrete action to help with refugee settlement here and refugee assistance abroad.

Ambassador Mark Storella, a member of the Senior Foreign Service, has a longstanding commitment to humanitarian affairs and human rights. He joined the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in June 2016 with responsibility for admission of refugees to the United States and refugee programming in the Near East and Asia regions.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions.  I look forward to seeing you there!  

Mark MacCarthy



Economic Justice Update

Posted 8:03 PM by
"Many of us are concerned about the direction of public policy regarding immigration and refugees and wonder if there is anything we can do.   A first step is to seek guidance from our Episcopal leaders. On January 25 our Presiding Bishop issued a  statement http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2017/01/25/presiding-bishop-other-episcopal-leaders-call-on-trump-to-maintain-refugee-resettlement-efforts/  saying "We ask that refugees from all countries receive consideration to come to the U.S. and not to ban those who come from countries most in need of our assistance."  On January 31, Bishop Budde's said "Scripture could not be clearer: we are called to welcome the stranger." http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Bishop-Budde-s-Statement-on-Refugee-Resettlement-and-Immigration-Restrictions.html?soid=1108352395623&aid=j8ywl2f4NFs statement.   

We can do more than agree with these sentiments. We can take action ourselves by coordinating with the Episcopal Public Policy Network, which organizes the Episcopal Church's national advocacy efforts. You can sign up to receive their alerts here: http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/home

The group has an established and active refugee advocacy program. For several years, the network has encouraged members to speak out on refugee issues and has provided them with webinars, scripts for calling members of Congress and sample letters and an automatic way to have those letters submitted.  One current relevant advocacy item is a script for calling your 2 senators and 1 representative.  The key message in this script is:  I am strongly opposed to President Trump's announcements to stop the resettlement of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen; pause the refugee resettlement program entirely; and reduce the number of refugees we welcome.  Here's the link: http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/RefugeeAdvocacy

Another refugee initiative is a sample letter urging members of Congress to speak out "in support of our nation's admirable tradition of welcome."  Here's the link: http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/app/write-a-letter?10&engagementId=260973

I urge all of you to take advantage of these advocacy opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the many immigrants and refugees who experiencing hardship in a difficult time.
Please join us for the next meeting of St. Dunstan's economic justice group, informally known as the Justice League of St. Dunstan's.  We'll be meeting for about an hour at the church starting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday March 13.
Mark MacCarthy


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