News

HIAS Celebrates Passage of Senate Immigration Reform Legislation

Press Releases

Posted by Genever McBain on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 17:05 pm

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, celebrates the passage of the bipartisan legislation in the Senate to reform the U.S. immigration system. The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013,” S. 744, passed by a margin of 68-32. Mark Hetfield, HIAS’ President and CEO, was “thrilled to see this bill pass the Senate and especially pleased that it passed with several humanitarian fixes for refugees and asylum seekers.” He said that


A Rescue Comes Full Circle—25 Years On

HIAS Blog

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

HIAS Blog

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


HIAS Launches The Welcome Initiative, Yearlong Refugee-Awareness Campaign

Press Releases

Posted by Genever McBain on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:40 am

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, today launched The Welcome Initiative, a campaign to raise awareness around issues surrounding the treatment and welcome of refugees. Central to the campaign is the Affirmation of Welcome, a call to action to “welcome the stranger” through protection, communication, and understanding. In a series of simple yet powerful first-person affirmations, the document sets out principles to guide faith leaders in providing welcoming environments for refugees and displaced


Senate Votes to Begin Immigration Debate

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 9:44 am

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 82-15 to allow S. 744, the Senate Gang of 8's bipartisan immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for many of the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants, to be debated by the full Senate. Amendments are expected to be filed and debated over the next few weeks, with the Senate hoping to vote on a final bill before the July 4th recess. In these crucial weeks of Senate debate, please voice your support


HIAS Discusses Worldwide Refugee Issues at UNHCR Consultations

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 9:43 am

HIAS' President and CEO, Mark Hetfield, and other HIAS staff are currently in Geneva participating in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Annual Consultations with non-governmental organizations from around the world. The consultations are three days of dialogue on the most critical refugee issues of the day and the work of UNHCR and its NGO partners. Learn more.


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

HIAS Blog

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: An Appreciation of His Lifesaving Work With Refugees

HIAS in the News

Posted by Genever McBain on Fri, Jun 07, 2013 at 14:19 pm

In his latest Huffington Post blog, Mark Hetfield describes how his experience as a HIAS caseworker in Rome in 1989 gave him a firsthand view of the lifesaving impact of the Lautenberg Amendment, and explains how the need has not diminished today. He also tells how the Lautenberg Amendment impacted his life in a very personal way.


Frank Lautenberg leaves legacy of American Jewry’s profile

HIAS in the News

Posted by Genever McBain on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 at 14:08 pm

HIAS' Alla Shagalova and Melanie Nezer both discuss the impact Senator Lautenberg and his lifesaving Lautenberg Amendment have had in this article from JNS: Alla based on her personal experience—she, her husband, and 2-year-old son received refugee status under the Amendment, and Melanie from the broader perspective of populations at risk.


The Best Of The Greatest Generation

HIAS in the News

Posted by Genever McBain on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 at 14:08 pm

In this tribute to Senator Frank Lautenberg in the Jewish Week, HIAS' Mark Hetfield discusses how the Lautenberg Amendment has been crucial in helping hundreds of thousands of refugees escape religious persecution and start new lives in the United States.


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