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World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table Urge Governors in 15 States to Accept Refugees

December 11, 2019

Lauren Carl

World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table Urge Governors in 15 States to Accept Refugees
Leading refugee advocacy groups rally 2,669 signatories in support of refugee resettlement

BALTIMORE, Md. – Today, World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table coordinated and sent letters to 14 state governors, and to Arizona Governor Ducey this past Friday, to respond to the president’s executive order that requires state governors and local authorities to provide consent to resettling refugees. A total of 2,669 evangelical leaders collectively signed on to show their support for refugee resettlement in their communities. This total includes the evangelicals in North Carolina who signed the letter offering their support following Governor Cooper providing his consent to Secretary Pompeo on Tuesday, December 10th. This total also includes the 294 evangelicals who signed an additional letter sent to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Friday, December 6th, which was followed shortly by the governor offering his consent for refugee resettlement in Arizona via a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

In September, President Trump signed an executive order requiring each state and locality to provide written consent to allow refugees to be resettled there. This order could block resettlement altogether in many states where the governors do not provide consent and will prevent many refugees from resettling in their family members’ communities, even after being lawfully admitted into the country. Such written consent must be provided to the Department of State by December 25th.

“After being forced to leave their countries to escape war, persecution or natural disaster and being legally allowed entry to the U.S., the last thing refugees should have to experience is being denied access to communities in which they wish to dwell,” said Scott Arbeiter, World Relief president. “Halting the resettlement of refugees to states will disrupt families and could lead to the end of vital ministries by local churches. We’re grateful to Governor Ducey in Arizona for joining fifteen other bipartisan governors in continuing to allow refugees to be resettled in his state, and we hope and pray that the governors in other states will carefully consider the thousands of their constituents who are voicing their desire to serve and embrace refugees in their communities.”

More than 2,669 evangelicals from Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin joined their voices in letters to their state’s leadership, including: 

  • 659 in Tennessee,

  • 340 in Texas,

  • 294 in Arizona,

  • 231 in Georgia and

  • 136 in North Carolina.

“I’m so grateful that Governor Ducey has given official consent to allow refugees to continue to be welcomed in Arizona.” noted Dennae Pierre, Executive Director of the Surge Network in Phoenix. “Evangelical churches and ministries in our state have been active in serving newly arrived refugees for decades, and we look forward to the continued gift of loving our neighbors fleeing persecution. Evangelicals across our state and others have made it clear – we want to continue welcoming refugees into our communities. We pray that additional governors will follow Governor Ducey’s lead to officially consent to allow refugees to be welcomed into their states in response to the president’s executive order.”

All of the state sign-on letters are available here.

Download the PDF version of this press release.


About World Relief:

World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that seeks to overcome violence, poverty and injustice. Through love in action, we bring hope, healing and restoration to millions of the world’s most vulnerable women, men and children through vital and sustainable programs in disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding, as well as refugee and immigration services in the U.S. For 75 years, we’ve partnered with churches and communities, currently across more than 20 countries, to provide relief from suffering and help people rebuild their lives.

 Learn more at


About the Evangelical Immigration Table:

 The Evangelical Immigration Table is a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values.

 Learn more at

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