News

House Passes STEM Bill

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Thu, Dec 06, 2012 at 16:28 pm

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the STEM Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 6429), which would create a visa program for graduates of science, technology, engineering, and math post-secondary education programs by taking visas from the Diversity Visa Lottery program. "It pains me greatly that I cannot support this bill," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who said that the bill would eventually result in fewer visas issued because far fewer than 50,000 degrees are given every year to


Congressional Hispanic Congress Releases Immigration Principles

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Thu, Dec 06, 2012 at 16:20 pm

Last Wednesday the Congressional Hispanic Caucus held a press conference to release a nine-point list of principles they say must be part of any immigration overhaul. The first principle is a "path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship" for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. Other proposed principles include prioritizing family unity, permanent relief for DREAMers, strengthening the economy through STEM jobs, ensuring smart and reasonable enforcement, establishing a workable employment verification system, and providing legal


Jewish Responsibility For Those Beyond Our Own Community

HIAS in the News

Posted by Genever McBain on Tue, Dec 04, 2012 at 18:11 pm

On Friday, the New York Jewish Week posted this op-ed by Mark Hetfield, in which he draws a link between Freedom 25, Pearl Harbor Day, and why Jews should be aiding refugees escaping the atrocities occurring in Congo.


House to Consider STEM Jobs Act

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Genever McBain on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 15:50 pm

This week the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the STEM Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 6429), which would create a visa program for graduates of science, technology, engineering, and math post-secondary education programs by taking visas from the Diversity Visa Lottery program. The House failed to pass similar legislation in September. Since then, House Republicans amended the legislation and added a provision to allow spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents to wait in the


Advocates Convene in Washington to Strategize about Immigration

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Genever McBain on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 15:49 pm

Next week HIAS will participate in the National Immigration Forum's national strategy session and advocacy day in Washington, DC. The event will feature a wide array of speakers from across the country and across the political spectrum, including Attorney General Mark Shurtleff of Utah, Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Rich Stolz of One America, and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Advocates from the faith, business, and law enforcement communities will strategize


Updated DACA Numbers Released

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released updated statistics about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. New data shows that 300,000 requests for deferred action have been submitted and 53,273 individuals have been granted relief under this new policy. The new data does not indicate how many beneficiaries have received work permits under the program or whether any requests for deferred action had been denied. At the rate of processing applications, it is likely that more


Republican Senators Propose Alternative to the DREAM Act

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Last week, Senator Kay Hutchinson (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) put forward the ACHIEVE Act, which would offer legal status for certain eligible undocumented youth. This proposal is similar to the bill that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) worked on last summer as an alternative to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which has been championed for over a decade by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Most notable, the new proposal differs from the DREAM Act in that


New UNHCR Legal Guidelines Step Forward for LGBTI Refugees

HIAS Blog

Posted by Rachel Levitan on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

This year’s historic election-day wins in Maryland, Maine, and Washington supporting gay marriage are emblematic of the dramatic strides that the U.S. has taken to recognize the social and legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals. Parallel to this domestic progress, the US government has publicly supported the rights of sexual minorities internationally. In December, the White House released a presidential memo directing all agencies engaged abroad to “ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign


Urge Congress to Pass VAWA

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

As Congress reconvened last week in Washington, advocates around the country have been urging legislators to finally reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Earlier this year, the Senate and House passed conflicting versions of the bill. Please take a moment to ask your elected officials to pass the Senate version of VAWA, which maintains programs and services for immigrant survivors of sexual and domestic violence, as opposed to the House version, which would roll back these protections.


Senators Graham and Schumer Resume Talks on Immigration

Advocacy Updates

Posted by Bethany Orlikowski on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

In early November, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that they will resume discussions about how to fix the U.S. immigration system. There has been a renewed focus in Washington on immigration reform in the wake of the Presidential election, in which President Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote. The Senators have said that their plan would include previously-discussed components such as biometric ID cards, border security, temporary worker programs, and a path to citizenship


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