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The IRC in
New York & New Jersey
The administration’s recent disheartening Presidential Determination, which lowered the refugee arrival ceiling to 18,000 in 2020, has left refugee families and those who support them with many questions. We hope you were able to join us for the call yesterday to get a sense of where the IRC and the families it serves stand in the current situation.
We wanted you to hear from the IRC directly about what you can do to help refugee families right now:
  • Call your local leaders. A new Executive Order which requires local governments to agree to resettling refugees in the community. “Local” is unclear, and while this pends in the judicial system, call your local representatives, councils, and mayors to ensure your community and state welcomes refugees
  • Pro bono legal services. Lowered refugee admissions means even greater pressure on the asylum system, as asylum seekers find their paths narrowed. If you are a lawyer interested in pro bono work or advocacy, or would like to connect the IRC in NY and NJ to legal resources for asylum seekers, please contact Brittany O'Neill at
  • Volunteer with us. These are difficult days, but working on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants who better our communities every day is encouraging and affirming. Please check and for current opportunities
  • Connect with your community. Be an advocate for refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants with your peers, neighbors and family. They are in need of your support now more than ever before.
  • Hire immigrants. The refugees lucky enough to have arrived still face a host of barriers to success, and the culture of fear built by changing immigration policies, hostility towards social protections, and unwelcoming rhetoric amplifies these concerns. Help refugees achieve self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. If you, your business, or your network is interested in hiring refugees, please contact Brittany O'Neill at
  • Donate for winter. Recent changes to the public charge policy, which would prohibit immigrants who receive public benefits to secure a green card, does not apply to humanitarian entrants like refugees. However, clients have become fearful of accessing public benefits in case their immigration status may be affected in the future. Many clients arrive unprepared for northeastern winter – consider donating new scarves, gloves, coats, and toiletries. To coordinate a donation, please contact Brittany O'Neill at
In these difficult days, we are grateful for the enduring support you have shown for the extraordinary refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants who walk through our doors every day. If you’d like further information to be better prepared to stand with refugees, please connect with us. Thank you for preserving New York and New Jersey’s long legacies as a safe haven for families in need.
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