(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) today joined Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and more than 30 colleagues in sending a letter to House Leadership today calling for protections for refugees, asylees, and other immigrants in the next COVID-19 emergency legislative package.

The Members requested additional funding in Refugee and Entrant Assistance (REA) funds for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for resettlement services, direct Congress to increase refugee cash and medical assistance for eighteen months, increase the Matching Grant per capita by $2000, expand the Preferred Communities program threshold, ensure resettlement agencies are able to maintain their infrastructure to continue to serve incoming refugees, and change the language in the CARES Act to include eligibility for all refugees to receive the cash rebate.

“Refugees, special immigrants, and immigrant visa applicants are important members of American communities,” the Members wrote. “Refugees are the most vetted travelers to the United States and face rigorous security checks that take years to complete. Further, immigrants often wait for years and go to great lengths and expense to obtain visas to enter the United States. Afghan SIVs in particular have been persecuted for their faithful and valuable service to the U.S. government. Now is the time to ensure that we do not turn our backs on those we promised to welcome.”

The letter was signed by Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr., Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. André Carson, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Veronica Escobar, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Rep. Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Ted W. Lieu, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. James P. McGovern, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. David E. Price, Rep. Mike Quigley, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Adam Smith, Rep. Darren Soto, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Juan Vargas, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, Rep. Peter J. Visclosky, and Rep. Peter Welch.

A PDF of the letter can be found here.