Posted by Genever McBain on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:23 am
In her Op-Ed in The Hill, HIAS’ Melanie Nezer explains how overly broad definitions of “terrorist activity” and “terrorist group” in the USA Patriot Act not only have delayed or prevented thousands of refugees from finding safe haven in the United States, but also undermine America's leadership in the realm of refugee protection.
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm
Before his sudden and unexpected arrest for “communicating with an enemy government,” Dr. Arash Alaei created a model HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment system in Iran.
A renowned physician and internationally recognized expert in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, Dr. Alaei and his brother established Iran’s first clinic specializing in HIV/AIDS and spent a decade building a public health system to address the pandemic. Under his guidance, the country instituted the distribution of free condoms in healthcare clinics, initiated a nationwide needle-exchange program, and opened methadone
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm
At age 40, Amneh Yakum Abbakah is a mother of six, a grandmother of two and, most recently, an entrepreneur. She holds her youngest grandbaby close to her chest as she sets out a welcome mat for visitors to her new shop.
Amneh has been living in Djabal refugee camp in eastern Chad since it opened a decade ago to absorb the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Darfur. Narrowly escaping a ruinous invasion of her home village, she,
Posted by HIAS – DC on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 21:41 pm
(Washington, D.C.) – At today’s hearing in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, “Asylum Fraud: Abusing America’s Compassion?” Melanie Nezer, vice president for Policy and Advocacy at HIAS, submitted a written statement for the official hearing record. Below is her full testimony.
Throughout our history, America has been defined by our generosity toward those who seek a safe haven from oppression. An asylum system that is fair, effective and humane honors our country’s history and reflects
Posted by HIAS – NY on Sat, Feb 08, 2014 at 17:33 pm
In this New York Times article, HIAS' Melanie Nezer addresses the changes in the Patriot Act’s overly broad definitions of “terrorist activity” and “terrorist group” that have unjustly prevented thousands of refugees from receiving protection in the United States.
HIAS has been pressing for more than a decade for exemptions to the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds, also known as “TRIG” bars. As she points out, the bars were applied so broadly that they even included those who “gave a bowl of
Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 16:50 pm
Earlier today, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing entitled “Asylum Fraud: Abusing America’s Compassion?“ Expert witnesses included Louis Crocetti, Principal of Immigration Integrity Group, LLC and former Chief of USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate; Jan Ting of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law; Hipolito Acosta, former District Director of USCIS in Houston and INS in Mexico City; and Eleanor Acer, Director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection Program.
Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Fri, Feb 07, 2014 at 16:47 pm
Earlier this week, discretionary exemptions from the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG) were issued by Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary John Kerry of the State Department. HIAS applauded these exemptions, which are a step towards fairness after legislation enacted by Congress in 2001 significantly broadened the definition of “terrorist activity” to encompass some activities that had no real-life connection to terrorism. The exemptions are likely to remove legal obstacles for some particularly vulnerable
Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Thu, Feb 06, 2014 at 16:45 pm
Today, HIAS joined Jewish colleagues from around the country for the fourth annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day in Washington, DC. Participants used the opportunity as part of Jewish Disability Awareness Month to urge Congress to co-sponsor and pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (H.R. 647), which would allow families and those with disabilities to save private funds to support their health, independence, and quality of life, and to ratify the Convention on the
Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Tue, Feb 04, 2014 at 16:45 pm
Earlier today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised form N-400, Application for Naturalization, which includes significant changes to the application’s content and format. The new form has more than doubled in length to 21 pages, including several additional questions related to the applicant’s links to terrorist groups, genocide, militias, prisons, and military training (see recent Washington Post article). USCIS will accept the older version of the N-400 form until May 5th,
Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:37 pm
House Republican leadership recently released a document entitled “GOP Principles on Immigration Reform,” providing a general outline of standards regarding border security, interior enforcement, reforms to the legal immigration system, and a way to address the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. Several Jewish organizations—including HIAS—welcomed the principles as “an important first step towards addressing the broken U.S. immigration system,” and many members of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition also released
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