On August 28, refugees, activists, and supporters came together to rally for more compassion for refugees and for increased U.S. resettlement efforts. The DCRally4Refugees, founded by a grassroots group of advocates, featured performances by refugee musicians and artists, as well as speeches by NGO leaders, activists, and policy stakeholders.
The rally took place the day before the White House announced that the United States has met its target of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in this fiscal year (see IRAP’s press release).
Among the speakers at the event was Sham Hasan, a former IRAP client and dedicated refugee activist from Iraq, who came to the United States in 2014 on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) for his services as an interpreter to the U.S. forces:
“I left Iraq and I didn’t have many options: if I stayed, I would be killed. I was one out of thousands of endangered people on the refugee waiting list to come to the U.S.” (You can read his full remarks here.)
The rally was also an opportunity to urge the United States to do more on refugee protection and resettlement, especially in the lead-up to the UN summits on refugees in September. To that end, we encourage all supporters to sign the electronic postcard, which will be delivered at a press conference in front of the Capitol Building on Thursday, September 15th.