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New Bi-partisan Legislation Affirms Importance of U.S. Refugee Program

This week, Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017. HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, was encouraged to see members of Congress from both parties joining together to affirm the critical, life-saving role of the U.S. refugee program.

"This bill is an important step in offering refugees—particularly those who have survived horrific ISIS atrocities—a chance to restart their lives in safety," said Melanie Nezer, HIAS vice president for policy and advocacy. "It shows the United States' commitment to religious freedom and to rescuing survivors of genocide."

"The U.S. refugee program was created for moments like this, so that our government can act quickly to protect refugees who flee for their lives and have nowhere else to go. This bill would allow us to assist people who have no hope for a future where they are, including Yezidi women and girls who have had no access to proper medical and mental health care after surviving kidnapping, rape and torture."

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