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HIAS Calls on President-Elect Trump to Respect Longstanding Refugee Policy

WASHINGTON—HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, today called on President-elect Donald J. Trump to uphold the United States’ longstanding policy of protecting refugees. In response to the news of Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield issued the following statement:

“As a bitter and hard-fought campaign for president comes to an end, so should the divisive rhetoric about refugees. America has always been at its greatest when we have welcomed refugees to our shores, and at its weakest when we have shut our doors out of fear. We urge President-elect Trump to demonstrate that America is not afraid of refugees, and to show leadership for human rights and refugee protection during the global refugee crisis, the largest of its kind since the World War II.

“Welcoming and protecting refugees resonates especially deeply in the Jewish community, which remembers the plight of Jews who were turned away during World War II when they had nowhere else to go. Then, as now, governments and politicians falsely cast refugees as a threat, when they should have been sheltering them from the threats they were fleeing. No one expects to one day become a refugee. When families are suddenly forced to leave everything they know behind and flee their home country, it’s because they had no safe alternative.

“HIAS, together with our thousands of supporters across the American Jewish community, including a network of local resettlement and Jewish family service agencies and more than 220 synagogues, will do everything in our power to ensure that the United States continues to protect refugees. Our shared tradition teaches us the powerful contributions refugees can make when properly welcomed to this country; a tradition we plan on keeping.”

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