Our Washington, D.C. office advances HIAS’ refugee and immigrant protection agenda by educating Washington policy makers on issues concerning both Jewish migrants and the broader immigrant and refugee community.
Posted on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 13:16 pm
In June, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” (S. 744) by a margin of 68-32. This was a huge victory for the immigration reform movement, and we must build upon this momentum to urge the U.S. House of Representatives to reform our country’s broken system in a way that honors our American values.
Please take a moment to urge your Members of Congress to support H.R. 15, the House of Representatives' companion to the Senate-passed immigration bill. And if your elected official has already publicly supported H.R. 15, take a moment to say "thank you"!
Posted on Fri, Nov 01, 2013 at 13:15 pm
Yesterday, Georgetown University Law Center, the Migration Policy Institute, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) hosted the 10th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference in Washington, DC. One of the program highlights was a speech by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who discussed his involvement in the Senate "Gang of Eight" immigration bill and specifically thanked faith-based communities for their commitment to immigration reform advocacy.
Posted on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 13:01 pm
Please join members of the "We Were Strangers, Too" Jewish Campaign for Immigration Reform tomorrow - October 17th - for the national Jewish Day of Action against the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act. This legislation was approved by the House Judiciary Committee in June 2013 and would worsen laws targeting terrorism that instead negatively impacts immigrants and refugees. The SAFE Act would also expand the immigration detention system that currently detains torture survivors, asylum seekers, and others seeking protection in the U.S. from persecution in their home countries.
Posted on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 12:54 pm
In a new initiative that strives to combat anti-refugee sentiment around the country, HIAS, along with several partners—the Center for Applied Linguistics; Church World Service; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services; the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants; and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, working closely with Welcoming America and Refugee Council USA— recently launched The Linking Communities (TLC) Project: Creating Welcome for Refugees. The project’s objective is to implement some of the recommendations made in HIAS' report from earlier this year entitled Resettlement at Risk, which focused on how to meet emerging challenges to refugee resettlement in local communities. TLC seeks to build and support community capacity at the national and local levels to generate and maintain broad-based commitment to resettlement in local communities.
The project officially launched in July in Washington, DC with a meeting of project partners, representatives from national resettlement and other agencies, and stakeholders from Ohio and Pennsylvania. In the coming months, the project will draw participation from more stakeholders in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In December, participants will gather for a day-long training and strategy session in each state to learn new techniques and best practices, and to create and broaden networks through which they can engage their communities. The project will provide funding to local groups to support some of this work. At the conclusion of the project, HIAS and the project partners will share lessons learned and best practices with refugee resettlement agencies and other stakeholders across the country to foster welcoming environments for refugees. Click here to learn more about this project and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Posted on Wed, Oct 02, 2013 at 12:40 pm
This afternoon, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 15, known as the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” Nearly identical to the immigration bill that passed the Senate in June, this bill similarly aims to address issues related to border security, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, interior enforcement, and more. Sponsors Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX), and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO).
Like S. 744, the House legislation would implement much-needed reforms to the refugee and asylum systems, such as the repeal of the one-year filing deadline that causes excessive hardship for asylum seekers and the elimination of provisions that separate asylees and refugees from close family members. The bill would extend and improve the Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa programs, allowing individuals who face danger as a result of their work for the American government to continue to seek safety in the United States. H.R. 15 additionally includes provisions that would allow certain refugee children to join their parents in the United States and remedy gaps in current law that can permanently separate families.
One notable difference between this legislation and the Senate bill is the substitution of border security provisions from Rep. Michael McCaul’s (R-TX) bipartisan Border Security Results Act of 2013 in place of the Senate-passed Corker-Hoeven Amendment.
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