The conflict in Syria has produced the largest refugee crisis in the world, with three million people forced to flee since the conflict began. The magnitude of this crisis has had massive impact on neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon, which are hosting millions of refugees and spending billions of dollars on their care.
HIAS advocates for critically important responses from the international community and the U.S. government:
The international community must share responsibility for these refugees
It is imperative that the rights of Syrian refugees be respected and that the international community ensure that refugees are not returned to harm. Additionally, given that the large numbers of refugees strain the infrastructures of the countries hosting them, the international community must provide ongoing humanitarian aid to both the refugees and the host countries.
A viable process for resettlement to the U.S. is urgently needed to aid the most vulnerable refugees
Despite a history of leadership in refugee protection, a stunningly low number of Syrians have been resettled in the United States since the conflict began. The U.S. should commit to accepting at least half of the refugees identified as needing resettlement -- 15,000 each year over the next five years.
Rescuing fewer than 1% of Syrian refugees will not solve the crisis but would save some of the most vulnerable refugees and show that the U.S. is doing what it can to support the Syrian people and the host countries.
Policy obstacles that prevent Syrians from resettling in the U.S. must be revised
Terrorism-Related Inadmissibility Grounds (TRIG bars) contained in the Patriot Act bar any individual who has provided “material support” to insurgents, including a bowl of rice, even under duress, from entering the U.S. The laws are so broad that they could bar Syrian refugees just because they engaged in resistance against the Assad regime from resettlement in the U.S. READ HIAS STATEMENT TO THE SENATE ABOUT THE SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS