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Asylum-Seekers Deserve Due Process, Not Detention

WASHINGTON—Today, President Trump signed an executive order which would have serious impact on the asylum process for people who come to the U.S. fleeing persecution in their home country. In response, Melanie Nezer, vice president for policy and advocacy at HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, issued the following statement:

“Since World War II, the U.S. has operated under the fundamental ideal that a person fleeing persecution must not be returned to a country where his or her life or freedom would be threatened. Refugees and asylum seekers are people who can’t be safe at home, have run out of options, and are asking the United States for protection. With today’s Executive Order, President Trump is prioritizing detention and removal over protection and due process.

“The vast majority of asylum-seekers from Central America are women and children who are at risk of violence, sexual assault, and even death if they are returned to their home countries. They deserve a fair hearing, and our compassion, not to be locked up and treated like criminals simply because they crossed a border while running for their lives.”

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HIAS is the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees—including women and children, and ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities—whose lives are in danger for being who they are. Guided by our values and history, HIAS helps refugees rebuild their lives in safety and advocates to ensure that all displaced people are treated with dignity. More info at @HIASrefugeesFacebook and hias.org.

Backed by over 1,500 American rabbis in 48 states and more than 250 congregations across the country, HIAS stands firm in our commitment, as Jews and as Americans, to support and welcome refugees.