US & NC Refugee Advocacy news


The Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education of North Carolina 
Holocaust Speakers Bureau 


Take Action to Protect Immigrant Children

​Currently, administrative regulations are in jeopardy of being changed so that immigrant children and families could be indefinitely detained. The proposal would curtail minimum standards for how to care for children held in federal custody. It is a critical time to make our voices heard to oppose this proposal by the administration and to urge Congress to reject any proposal that fuels family separation and family incarceration.

Here are the top 3 ways to take action today:

  • Submit a Comment: Click here to register your opposition to the administration's proposal and stand up for immigrant children’s safety. On the right-hand side, please adapt the template language to share why you oppose the Trump administration’s new regulations to indefinitely detain children, lower standards of care in immigration jails, and remove legal protections from minors seeking safety in the U.S.

  • Share on Social Media: Click here to join today's digital day of action to help drive public comments opposing the Trump administration’s proposed regulations. Additional graphics are available here. Follow the conversation with the hashtag #StopFamilyDetention.

  • Call Congress: Click here to tell Congress to oppose the expansion of family incarceration and reject the administration's proposal to indefinitely detain children. Instead, Congress should pressure the administration to reunify separated families and end "zero tolerance" policies and invest in community-based alternatives to detention like the Family Case Management Program.

Please check out for more information. Please share this information widely.

In solidarity,
Jen Smyers, Director of Policy & Advocacy
Immigration and Refugee Program, Church World Service


October, 2018 update from Refugee Support Center 

Bad News

On September 22, President Trump announced a new policy which instructs US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers to consider whether or not a green card applicant receives a means-tested benefit (Food Stamps, Medicaid, public housing) when making an approval decision. Please see link below.

Although refugees are exempt from this policy, this is unsettling because it seems downright mean and because a mercurial administration might rescind an exemption at any point. Some refugees have had a whiff that something is in the air about Food Stamps and have asked us if it is true that they cannot use Food Stamps any more. Please tell any refugee you volunteer with who asks that as far as we know now, their Food Stamps will continue. 

Our office did receive notification from USCIS that receiving a means-tested benefit will no longer qualify applicants, including refugees, for Fee Waivers for immigration applications. Currently the naturalization application fee is $725 and derivative citizenship fee is $1025.There are alternative ways to seek Fee Waivers which we will use, but they require more documentation and are not as easily approved.

Good News

Ten Congolese refugee families displaced from their New Bern homes due to Florence were placed in the Friday Center shelter. We were able to send our Swahili/Kinyarwanda interpreter to assist with some of them. The Center closed last Friday, and all families have returned home or to stay with friends.

A Legal Information Workshop recently held was a great success. Approximately 100 refugees attended the event held September 22. Presenters were: Chapel Hill Police Officer Todd Harris, Emily Moseley, coordinator of RSC's pro bono legal services, and Meredith Nicholson, a member of our pro bono attorney pool. Refugees have asked for follow-up workshops because so many had questions and time ran out before they could get answers. We were told that the Congolese minister, who attended the meeting, announced to his congregation the following morning, "When they hold another meeting, you absolutely must attend. What you will learn is so valuable.” 

THANK YOU for caring about refugees, your advocacy and your support!
Flicka Bateman, EdD, Director

Refugee Support Center