Blog & Stories / 01.07.21

RCUSA staff reflect on the breach of the US Capitol building

Washington, DC — On January 6th, Congress upheld a centuries-old tradition to meet and certify the election of Joe Biden as President of the United States and advance the peaceful transfer of power. Unwilling to accept the election outcome, President Trump urged his rallied supporters to march to the Capitol, where rioters breached security barriers and disrupted the Constitutionally-mandated proceedings in an attack on democracy. 

“The visual of rioters marauding the Capitol – some proudly donning racist and anti-Semitic flags and attire – will stay with me forever,” said Adam Hunter, Executive Director of Refugee Council USA. “Their reprehensible message of exclusion and attempt to intimidate by force cannot be allowed to stand. We must address this catastrophic failure to protect and defend, and hold lawbreakers to account.”

The hallmark of American democracy is meant to be its peaceful transitions of power. It holds as part of our national imagining and mythmaking as what separates the United States from many parts of the world. These events remind us that no place and no system is immune from political unrest. The weight of this understanding lays heavy on our shoulders, knowing that the very reason for our work is to offer security and healing to those who have been forced to flee violence, often stirred as a result of severe political conflict and unrest in other countries. 

For any who may be experiencing a resurgence of trauma or fear, know that those experiences are valid. We are appalled by this insurrection. We are resolved in our belief that democratic processes must and will prevail. America prides itself on the strength of its democratic institutions. It is the foundation from which the nation has grown its legacy as a global leader on such issues as civil rights and humanitarian protection. Our work to uphold that legacy continues undeterred.

RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically.

Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk, sseniuk@rcusa.org