I just finished writing this letter to my congressman:
I have never been ashamed of my country before. The next elections will be the first time I ever cast a vote for a Democrat.
There is a place in the world where the basic fabric of society has broken down. The people there have lost everything and have no hope of any kind of a life or future. The ones most like us, the ones that care about their families, are fleeing, seeking refuge anywhere that will take them.
To stand up and deny them access because some among them may seek to do us harm is morally wrong. You have made a decision to allow fear to steer your actions. Leadership is standing up and doing the right thing.
If every single refugee turned out to be a terrorist, and millions of them succeeded in tearing down this country, that would be tragic. A great nation would be lost. By denying them entry we do not protect our great nation, we prove that it was never great at all.
What have we to fear from these refugees? Nothing. Should some among them prove violent and dangerous, the United States will weather that storm as we have every other, with compassion and strength.
You should be ashamed of your vote. Your constituents certainly are.
Feel free to send something similar to your own. I'm going to take some time this weekend and write something similar to my governor and Senator as well.
I looked into volunteering to take in a refugee family in my own home, but the local infrastructure apparently can't support someone so far from the city center, but if you live close to a refugee center/resettlement coordinator you can probably help.
To find someone to talk to about what I could do, I ended up on the White House website here:https://www.whitehouse.gov/campaign/aidrefugees
There's a place to put in your zip code, and it has the phone number of nearby agencies. The closest to me was the YMCA in Houston, which got back to me right away but couldn't really make use of what I have to offer, as the distance would be too great. The people there were super excited by the inquiry though, so I think the media coverage may be getting to them, warping how they view their fellow citizens.
Refugees are required to attend English language classes (depending on their current capacity) regularly as well as some job training/cultural integration type stuff. Particularly if you speak any European or Middle Eastern languages and live near a center there's a great opportunity to help out.