The 2013 Refugee Congress in Washington D.C. was followed by an “Advocacy in Action” day during which delegates from most of the 50 U.S. states met individually with their representatives in the U.S. Congress, urging support on issues of concern to refugees and asylees in the United States.

[Click here to see photographs of delegates’ “Advocacy Day” meetings in the U.S. Congress].

The meetings – over 100 in total – gave refugees and elected national lawmakers an opportunity to sit down face to face to share their experience and knowledge in the interest of supporting and improving U.S. refugee and asylee resettlement policies and practices.

“This program provided a chance for me to save my life, to chase my dream, to be able to become who I wanted to become,” Mohyeldin Mohamed, a refugee from Darfur who today calls North Dakota home, said following his meeting with North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

“So I would ask lawmakers to keep those kinds of programs – not only keep them but also to improve them to make the process of coming to the U.S. easier,” Mohyeldin said, voicing a message that many of the 2013 Refugee Congress delegates conveyed to their congressional representatives.