HIAS Spearheads Day of Action to Oppose the "SAFE" Act
Posted on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 10:15 am
(New York, NY) – HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, is leading an effort by the We Were Strangers, Too Jewish campaign for immigration reform to ensure the Jewish voice is heard in opposition to the "Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE)" Act, H.R. 2778, approved by the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee in June 2013. HIAS is organizing a day of action on Thursday, October 17, and encourages the Jewish community to express opposition to this harmful legislation by contacting their representatives in Congress.
The SAFE Act would expand already overbroad laws intended to target terrorism that instead have barred entry to refugees and asylees with no connection of any kind to any terrorist act or group. It would also expand our country's immigration detention system, which has already detained many torture survivors, asylum seekers, and others seeking protection in the U.S. from persecution in their home countries. Furthermore, if passed, the SAFE Act would delegate the enforcement of our national immigration laws to state and local law enforcement agencies, despite evidence that such enforcements can result in racial profiling and undermine community safety.
Faith groups, business coalitions, law enforcement agencies, civil rights organizations, and labor unions all oppose the bill. Mark Hetfield, HIAS President & CEO, said, "We are extremely concerned about the SAFE Act, which undermines our nation's legal obligations to refugees."
Earlier this year, HIAS celebrated the passage of the Senate "Gang of Eight" bill, S. 744. That bill and its House counterpart, H.R. 15, would improve our country's refugee and asylum laws. Unlike the SAFE Act, which chips away at civil rights, these bills would make the immigration system more fair and humane for refugees, asylum seekers, and all immigrants.