HIAS Blog

DREAMers Add Powerful Voice to Interfaith Immigration Fight

Posted by Daniel Rosenberg on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 15:21 pm

Yesterday, June 18, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) organized a fly-in advocacy day in Washington, DC. Faith leaders from around the country convened to lobby for fair, commonsense, effective, and comprehensive immigration reform. Leaders in the Christian and Jewish communities articulated to members of the House of Representatives and the Senate the importance of welcoming the stranger and including the moral treatment of all immigrants in policy. “DREAMers” shared their personal experiences as they argued for a pathway to citizenship


LGBTI Binational Couples and Immigration Reform

Posted by Yael Nagar on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 15:18 pm

In 1977, when my mother was 19 years old, she dropped out of SUNY Binghamton and moved to Israel. She was following her heart—more specifically, her cute Israeli boyfriend Ehud from her English class. After a while in Israel, Mom enrolled at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

By a twist of fate, the women’s dorms were under construction when she moved in, so she ended up living next door to my dad. She couldn’t have known they’d end up together, but my


A 'Voluntary' Deportation of Eritreans From Israel?

Posted by Mark Hetfield on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

Recent headlines in Israeli publications Haaretz and Ynetnews about the "willful emigration" of detained migrants to their countries of origin have raised some questions in my mind about the meaning of free will.

Repatriation is considered the preferable durable solution for people in refugee situations, usually both by the refugees themselves and the international community. When an asylum seeker no longer fears persecution in his or her country of origin and can return there in safety and


Colombian Refugees and the Effects of Violence Throughout Latin America

Posted by Kyle Kissick on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm

HIAS Latin America helps refugees who have fled Colombia’s decades-old civil war and prolonged internal violence. Since the beginning of the war, more than four million Colombians have been displaced within the country and as many as 750,000 have fled the country as refugees. HIAS’ offices in Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela provide crucial psychological and therapeutic services to Colombian refugees that would otherwise have no access to these types of services.

I had the privilege of learning much more about


A Rescue Comes Full Circle—25 Years On

Posted by HIAS – NY on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

Irina K. vividly remembers the struggles of her first year in America as a Ukrainian refugee and young mother. Today, nearly 25 years later, these memories continue to drive her work with refugees arriving in the United States from across the globe.

“My experiences as a refugee—learning English, developing survival skills, adapting to a new culture after overcoming culture shock—help me relate to and connect with the people I work with today,” Irina explains.

Born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine during the


Speeding Relocation of Darfur Refugees Away from Chad Border

Posted by HIAS – NY on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 15:16 pm

As the quickly approaching rainy season promises devastating flooding, HIAS is on the ground at Goz Amir Camp in southeastern Chad aiding Sudanese refugees relocating from camps on the Sudan–Chad–Central African Republic border.

HIAS, which has been providing trauma counseling and social services to refugees in camps in eastern Chad since 2005, is working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to speed the relocation of refugees from the imperiled Tissi border settlement to a site some 30 km


UNHCR, HIAS, and Faith-based Coalition Unveil Landmark Declaration

Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and representatives of 25 faith-based non-governmental organizations today unveiled a landmark declaration aimed at strengthening protection for the world's more than 40 million refugees and internally-displaced and stateless people.

From February to April, HIAS led a coalition of faith-based organizations and academic institutions in drafting the declaration, known as the Affirmation of Welcome. Next week, on World Refugee Day (June 20), HIAS will launch a year-long campaign to promote the Affirmation within the


Senator Lautenberg's Legislation Brought Thousands to Freedom

Posted by HIAS – NY on Mon, Jun 03, 2013 at 13:08 pm

For more than two decades, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, who died this morning at age 89, championed legislation that created a safe escape route to freedom for persecuted religious minorities from many corners of the globe.

Today, HIAS joins the people of New Jersey and America in mourning his loss.

Growing up poor and the son of Jewish immigrants in Paterson turned Frank Lautenberg into a fighter, not just for the people of New Jersey,


Ukraine Develops its Commitment to the Rights of Unaccompanied Minors

Posted by Olga Morkova on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 16:04 pm

After a little more than a year working at HIAS in Ukraine, I was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study human rights and refugee law in the United States. Studying in Washington, DC has provided me the opportunity to know HIAS even better. I have been able to meet with colleagues who do the same work we do in Ukraine—helping refugees and promoting human rights—but on the other side of Atlantic Ocean, where the economy and the values of


Rampant Persecution of Religious Minorities in Iran

Posted by Shannon Hall on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 18:08 pm

Much of the news today about Iran is centered on its efforts to develop nuclear weapons and the threatening stance it takes towards the rest of the Middle East, particularly Israel. However, behind Iran’s menacing foreign policy is a fractured internal state that is becoming increasingly totalitarian. News agencies do not frequently report on this aspect of Iran, but as those of you who have received HIAS’ updates on the Lautenberg Amendment know, religious persecution in Iran is


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