On Thursday, June 29, HIAS leadership held a briefing call to provide an update on the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling on the refugee and Muslim ban executive orders, as well as the Trump Administration’s misinterpretation of that ruling.
HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Melanie Nezer and Vice President for Community Engagement Rabbi Jennie Rosenn spoke to hundreds of supporters and members of the media on what’s at stake if this ban is able to move forward.
Specifically, Nezer addressed the notion that a refugee’s connection with a U.S.-based resettlement agency would not qualify as a “bona fide relationship” as outlined by the Supreme Court order, calling it. “a little crazy.”
She went on to describe the massive barrier proving “bon fide” relationships would be for refugees who are simply searching for a safe place to live, and who have already followed all the vetting procedures required by the United States.
“It’s daunting in the easiest of circumstances — let alone a refugee whose family member may not even have had a birth certificate,” Nezer said, as quoted in the BuzzFeed article following the call. “This could mean that many many months or even years of delay for people who just want to find safety, get their kids in school, go to work.”