Posted by Genever McBain on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 9:07 am
At a September 20-21, 2012 HIAS symposium in Geneva on the work and research of HIAS and other agencies striving to protect refugees who are members of sexual minorities, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Director of the Division of International Protection, Volker Turk, gave a groundbreaking address highlighting the challenges faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) refugees. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador David Robinson of the Bureau of Population,
Everyone Loses if VAWA Isn't Finished
Posted by Kiera Bloore on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:59 am
In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 (VAWA), H.R. 4970, a bill which severely undermines the protections available to survivors of violence and places victims at further risk of harm. However, the Senate bill, S. 1925, represents the spirit of the "real VAWA" which protects all victims of violence and maintains programs and services to serve victims and make our communities safer. Congress needs to act immediately to pass
Forced Marriage - An Invisible Form of Persecution
Posted by Kiera Bloore on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 13:24 pm
This summer, as part of my legal internship with HIAS, I chose a personal research project and presented my research to HIAS’ Washington DC office. This was a wonderful opportunity for me because my topic - forced marriage asylum claims - combines my two main academic interests: women’s human rights and asylum law.
I am particularly interested in women’s rights with respect to marriage. This past spring, I was in Georgetown’s International Women’s Human Rights Clinic and we researched discriminatory
Learning from Immigration's Past
Posted by Rachel Zisman on Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 17:03 pm
I recently had the opportunity to attend a preview of a new exhibit, “Attachments: Faces and Stories from America’s Gates” at the National Archives. Through samples of government forms and photos, the exhibit demonstrates immigrants’ and refugees’ “attachments” to both their new homes and their respective countries of origin, as well as the long and conflicted history of immigration.
Attending a preview of a new exhibit is exciting in itself, but as I was walking around the cool, dark, gallery,
TRIG Doesn't Honor the Basic Principle that Families should Remain Together
Posted by Kiera Bloore on Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 15:48 pm
One of the great things about my legal internship with HIAS is that it has put me back in touch with my Jewish roots. Over the past several weeks, I have learned about the many challenges immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers face in this country, including prolonged separation from family. Then, I realized that I did not know anything about how my own family immigrated to the United States. I decided to call my Zadie (grandfather in
Posted by Mark Hetfield on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 16:00 pm
From April through June 2012 a wave of xenophobia, fear and violence targeted at African migrants washed over much of Israel. This was not the first wave of anti-foreigner sentiment ever experienced in the country, but it was certainly the largest one in scope and severity. At the time of writing, it is not yet clear whether this wave is quite over.
There are approximately 60,000 unauthorized migrants in Israel, who have entered the country through its southern border with
Putting it in Perspective: A Look at IDPs
Posted by Thuy-Anh Vo on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 at 10:15 am
While interning at HIAS, I have had the opportunity to attend a number of events concerning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). An IDP is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country’s borders; there are currently about 27 million people who have been internally displaced by conflict. Even though IDPs are just like refugees, they do not fall under the current legal definition of a “refugee” because they are
Putting it in Perspective: Crossing Cultures
Posted by Thuy-Anh Vo on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 at 10:12 am
In March, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the 2012 HIAS Board of Directors and Young Leaders Advocacy Mission in Washington, DC. It was inspiring to see individuals who are passionate about the same issues get together to promote HIAS’ advocacy goals and to further educate the Washington policy community about HIAS’ work. It was also incredible to see the program come together after weeks of planning and finalizing details.
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is an
Putting it in Perspective: A Call to Advocacy
Posted by Thuy-Anh Vo on Mon, Jun 04, 2012 at 16:22 pm
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle." –MLK
If you had asked me what I thought I would be doing right now five years ago, I would never say that I would be studying in Washington DC, meeting important elected officials such as Supreme Court Justice Alito or Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith, interning at an immigration advocacy organization, doing my own Amerasian advocacy work, and attending a
Putting it in Perspective: The Promise of Passover
Posted by Jeremy Hiken on Mon, Jun 04, 2012 at 16:08 pm
Every year at our Passover Seders, we are supposed to “see ourselves as if we personally left Egypt.” Admittedly, it can be difficult for Jews today to connect with an event that took place millennia ago. Nonetheless, that does not mean that the Passover message is not relevant today. Take, for example, the plight of African refugees in Israel, many of whom were forced to flee their home countries as a result of religious and ethnic persecution.
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