Press Releases

HIAS: Virginia Congressman's Letter an Attack on American Values

Posted on Thu, Dec 28, 2006 at 12:28 pm

(New York City)– Officials at HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, are alarmed and outraged by Rep. Virgil Goode’s (R-Va.) recent remarks regarding Rep.-elect Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) desire to use the Koran at his private swearing-in ceremony. In a constituent letter, Rep. Goode cited Rep. Ellison’s choice to be sworn in with the Koran as an example why America should restrict immigration.

“Despite the fact that Congressman Ellison is a native-born American citizen who was raised Catholic and later converted


HIAS Names New VP for Membership and Development

Posted on Thu, Jan 04, 2007 at 12:28 pm

(New York City)– HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, has selected a seasoned fundraising professional with extensive experience in the Jewish community as its vice president for membership and development.

“We are delighted to have Susan Milamed join the HIAS team,” says Gideon Aronoff, president and CEO of HIAS. “Her background in fundraising as well as her experience in the Jewish community, make us very optimistic that we will be able to reach new goals as we face an ever-changing, uncertain


Boston Technology Investment Firm CEO is First Vice Chair of HIAS Board

Posted on Thu, Jan 04, 2007 at 12:18 pm

(New York City)– Michael Rukin, who serves as CEO of Concord Hill Group Trust, a technology investment firm based in Boston, has been named first vice chair of the board of directors of HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. With offices on five of the world’s continents and headquartered in New York City, HIAS has helped to rescue and resettle more than 4.5 million refugees since it began operations in 1881.

The first vice chairmanship of the board at HIAS is


Ahead of Tuesday Senate Judiciary Hearing, American Jewish Community Pleas: Help Iraqi Christians

Posted on Fri, Jan 12, 2007 at 11:57 am

Parallels to Jewish History Seen

(Washington, D.C.)– In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 36 prominent national and local Jewish organizations urged the United States to do more to help rescue Christians and other religious minorities fleeing Iraq.

The letter to Secretary Rice, which was spearheaded by HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, asserts that “the American Jewish community owes its existence to the welcome which first generation Jewish-Americans received here after fleeing religious persecution. Our own history, combined


'My Heroes'—HIAS Announces Theme for 2007 Poster Contest

Posted on Wed, Jan 31, 2007 at 11:54 am

(New York City)– Who are your heroes? Why do you admire them? These are questions that young immigrants from around the country are asked to answer artistically in the 2007 Poster Contest for Immigrant Youth.

This year marks the 13th year that HIAS - the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society - has sponsored the contest as a way to keep its legacy of rescue and resettlement alive in the minds of its youngest beneficiaries.

“Many immigrants, when asked why they chose


Proposed Fee Increase a Barrier to Citizenship

Posted on Fri, Feb 02, 2007 at 11:50 am

(Washington, D.C.)– HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, is concerned about the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) proposed increase in the application fee for citizenship. Under the proposal, citizenship application fees would be increased from $400 to $675, an increase of 69%. Other immigration filing fees would be increased by an average of 66%. Fees for a family of four hoping to naturalize would be prohibitive.

“At a time when the President has made immigration one of


Religious Freedom Report Two Years On: HIAS Concerned at Inaction on Recommendations

Posted on Thu, Feb 08, 2007 at 11:42 am

Asylum-seekers at most risk

(New York City)– The “report card” on the government’s progress in implementing recommendations from a 2005 study on asylum seekers in expedited removal is not something the Department of Homeland Security will be proud of. The report, which points to inaction on the part of the DHS, has officials at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the organized Jewish community’s immigration agency, concerned that worthy asylum-seekers will suffer the most.

According to the report released today in Washington


HIAS Supports Citizenship Promotion Act

Posted on Wed, Mar 07, 2007 at 11:39 am

(Washington, D.C.)– HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, strongly supports “The Citizenship Promotion Act of 2007,” introduced today by Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). This important legislation seeks to assist immigrants in becoming citizens, to promote citizenship opportunities and to remove barriers to naturalization. This legislation will enable immigrants to embrace American life in the fullest possible way.

“Immigrants are facing a nearly $300 naturalization fee increase proposed recently by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration


We Urge Congress and the White House: Do Not Deny Refuge to Victims of Terrorism

Posted on Fri, Mar 09, 2007 at 11:37 am

Statement from Gideon Aronoff, President and CEO,
HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

In an absurd twist, America’s anti-terrorism laws are now being used to deny protection to refugees fleeing some of the most brutal regimes and violent conflicts on earth.

While measures to prevent terrorists from being supported, and to keep their supporters out, are critically important, the American government is using the material support provision to exclude victims of terrorism – including those whose very struggle to be free now


As the Debate Re-ignites, Prominent Jewish Leaders Urge Congress to Pass Fair and Workable Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Posted on Tue, Mar 20, 2007 at 11:30 am

(Washington, D.C.)– More than 30 prominent leaders in the American Jewish community sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass fair and workable immigration reform, and to conduct the debate in a respectful and civil manner that will counter anti-immigrant bigotry.

The letter, spearheaded by HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, was signed by David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee; Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League; and Howard Rieger, president and CEO of United


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