Human Rights First and Veterans for American Ideals Speak at Rally4Refugees
By Kristina Doan and Joe Jenkins
Ahead of news that the White House met its goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees by September, supporters of refugee resettlement rallied at the National Mall on Sunday, August 28, 2016.
The DC Rally4Refugees brought together refugees, military veterans, faith leaders, doctors, and artists to share their personal experiences with the world refugee crisis. Crowds gathered to hear these impassioned stories and performances, most wearing orange—the official color of the rally, symbolizing the life preservers that so many refugees must wear during perilous journeys across the seas.
Human Rights First attended the rally, providing information on pro bono legal representation for asylum seekers as well as educating attendees about the robust refugee vetting process. Also participating were advocacy groups like Amnesty International, Church World Service, Oxfam, and International Refugee Assistance Project, who staffed informational tents to give out information on what people can do to help.
Human Rights First’s Veterans for American Ideals (VFAI) initiative also represented, offering rally-goers information on how veterans are advocating for refugee policies consistent with the ideals that motivated them to serve. Many veterans stopped by to share their service stories and joined the growing number of veterans who support refugees.