Voice for Refuge Endorses Joe Biden for President of the United States

September 24, 2020
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Voice for Refuge today endorsed Joe Biden for President of the United States and Kamala Harris for Vice President.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mary Elizabeth Margolis, memargolis@voiceforrefuge.org

NEW YORK CITY – Voice for Refuge today endorsed Joe Biden for President of the United States and Kamala Harris for Vice President. This is the first time any organization has endorsed candidates based on their positions on refugee issues. The endorsement includes side-by-side comparisons of the candidates’ actions on key refugee and immigration policy issues, demonstrating that both Biden and Harris are pro-refugee leaders while Trump and Pence are staunch anti-refugee extremists.

“I know Joe Biden. He was there when we introduced the Refugee Act of 1980 – legislation that created the modern-day refugee resettlement program and asylum system. He truly cares about refugees – then and today. This election is critical to the fate of these protections for people fleeing persecution. Refugees meaningfully contribute to the economy and help their new neighbors. Right now, more than 350,000 refugees are working in the health sector or food supply industry, helping us get through this pandemic. The Biden/Harris ticket is the clear choice for everyone who cares about how we treat people seeking safety and what that says about us as Americans. I’m proud that Voice for Refuge is making this clear to former refugees who are now U.S. citizens and voting, and to the millions of Americans who stand with them,” said Former U.S. Representative Elizabeth Holtzman, Voice for Refuge Board Chair and the original sponsor of the Refugee Act in the House.

“Since his election, President Trump has systematically created racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic policies that have been detrimental to refugees, immigrants, and Muslims,” said Voice for Refuge Political Director Mustafa Jumale. “Many lives have been delayed, lost, and many families have been separated due to this Administration. In contrast, Vice President Joe Biden was one of the original sponsors of the Refugee Act of 1980 and has expressed a commitment to restore our refugee resettlement program and make it a more just and humane one.  For these reasons, Voice for Refuge is proud to endorse Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as leaders who will help protect refugees. As you are weighing your choices this cycle, please remember, that so many lives are at stake and refugees and immigrants need you to show up.”

Joe Biden has, over the course of his career as a U.S. Senator from Delaware and Vice President of the United States, been a champion for refugees and immigrants. Biden was an original co-sponsor of The Refugee Act of 1980, the legislation that established the U.S. refugee resettlement program and asylum system. He has pledged to repeal Trump’s Muslim, Refugee, Immigration, and Asylum bans, and has committed to raising the U.S. refugee admissions to 125,000 per year. Trump has notably cut refugee resettlement from an average cap of 95,000 to an historic low of 18,000. 

Kamala Harris has also been a champion for refugees and has gone above and beyond to support refugees and the immigrant community. As the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, Harris has been an advocate for these communities, showing up at pro-refugee protests, rallies, and vigils, and co-sponsoring five pieces of pro-refugee legislation. 

“It is time for the United States to once again have a President and Vice President who are committed to improving and protecting the lives of refugees,” Jumale said. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will reverse the harmful policies that the Trump Administration has put in place and will remind people around the world that the United States welcomes and embraces refugees and immigrants. Voice for Refuge encourages voters to support Biden and Harris this November. The future of refugees – and our nation’s values – are at stake. I urge voters, including the millions of former refugees who now call the United States home and are U.S. citizens, to support the Biden/Harris ticket on November 3rd.”

Today’s endorsement has been translated and is available for download in six languages commonly spoken by refugees resettled in the United States: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese Karen, Butanese, Nepali and Somali. Voice for Refuge has also endorsed 44 refugees and pro-refugee candidates who are running for public office at the local, state, and national level.

About Voice for Refuge: Voice for Refuge is the first 501(c)4 organization created to advance pro-refugee policies at the national, state, and local level and to hold elected leaders accountable to upholding America’s legacy of welcome. Voice for Refuge is educating the public about the benefits of refugee resettlement, advocating for pro-refugee policies in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and increasing civic engagement among refugees through non-partisan voter education. Voice for Refuge also promotes the representation of refugees in government by supporting former refugees and pro-refugee candidates running for office at the national, state, and local level. For more information or to get involved visit voiceforrefuge.org or contact info@voiceforrefuge.org.

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Voice for Refuge Action Fund is a first-of-its-kind 501(c)(4) organization created to stand alongside and elevate refugee voices in the fight for justice and equality.