Compare that number with the 65 million people (plus) forced to flee their homes—the largest number of refugees in recorded history.
If these numbers matter to you, maybe if they trouble you, you may feel powerless to do anything. To some extent you are.
Not entirely, however. You have a voice. You can exercise it today. Because today the U.S. House Judiciary Committee holds an oversight hearing on the U.S. refugee resettlement program. This isn’t the end of the story; it’s the beginning, or at least a stop along the way.
Call a few members of the House Judiciary Committee. Today.
Each and every time, an intelligent aid answered the phone, spoke respectfully with me, took my message, and promised to communicate it to the representative. With one I even chatted briefly about the world series; turns out he grew up across the street from Southern Methodist University, where I teach. I stood at my office window and looked across Hillcrest Avenue to Highland Park, where he grew up, and talked comfortably with the aid of a Republican representative from Texas. Go figure.
So use your voice. Speak out about what matters to you. That, in itself, is an opportunity worth taking.
And possibly influencing your representatives is a chance worth taking.
The necessary numbers
How to call? Great question.
Here are the phone numbers of members of the House Judiciary Committee. Take your pick.
- Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-06): 202-225-5431 @RepGoodlatte
- Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI-05): 202-225-5101 @JimPressOffice
- Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX-21): 202-225-4236 @LamarSmithTX21
- Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-01): 202-225-2216 @RepSteveChabot
- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49): 202-225-3906 @DarrellIssa
- Rep. Steve King (R-IA-04): 202-225-4426 @SteveKingIA
- Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ-08): 202-225-4576 @RepTrentFranks
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01): 202-225-3035 @replouiegohmert
- Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04): 202-225-2676 @Jim_Jordan
- Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX-02): 202-225-6565 @TedPoe
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-03): 202-225-7751 @jasoninthehouse
- Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA-10): 202-225-3731 @RepTomMarino
- Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC-04): 202-225-6030 @TGowdySC
- Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID-01): 202-225-6611 @Raul_Labrador
- Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX-27): 202-225-7742 @farenthold
- Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA-09): 202-225-9893 @RepDougCollins
- Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL-06): 202-225-2706 @RepDeSantis
- Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO-04): 202-225-4676 @RepKenBuck
- Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX-04): 202-225-6673 @RepRatcliffe
- Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL-02): 202-225-2901 @RepMarthaRoby
- Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01): 202-225-4136 @MattGaetz
- Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA-04): 202-225-2777 @RepMikeJohnson
- Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05): 202-225-2635 @RepAndyBiggsAZ
- Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI-13): 202-225-5126 @RepJohnConyers
- Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY-10): 202-225-5635 @RepJerryNadler
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19): 202-225-3072 @RepZoeLofgren
- Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18): 202-225-3816 @JacksonLeeTX18
- Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09): 202-225-3265 @RepCohen
- Rep. Hank Johnson, Jr. (D-GA-04): 202-225-1605 @RepHankJohnson
- Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22): 202-225-3001 @RepTedDeutch
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL-04): 202-225-8203 @RepGutierrez
- Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37): 202-225-7084 @RepKarenBass
- Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02): 202-225-6636 @RepRichmond
- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08): 202-225-5936 @RepJeffries
- Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI-01): 202-225-4911 @RepCicilline
- Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15): 202-225-5065 @RepSwalwell
- Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA-33): 202-225-3976 @RepTedLieu
- Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08): 202-225-5341 @RepRaskin
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07): 202-225-3106 @RepJayapal
- Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL-10): 202-225-4835 @RepSchneider
You can also tweet House Judiciary Committee Members, whose Twitter handles are in the list above. Use hashtags like #refugees. If you want the number higher than 45,000, use #Welcome75k and #RefugeesWelcome.
These calls and tweets are the work of a moment. So raise your voice, if only for a moment.
Photo from Church World Service.