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HIAS Blog

  • Paving a Path of Welcome for Refugees: The Linking Communities Project

    Jan 15, 2014

    Bob Marmor, President and CEO of Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts, says the political backlash against refugee resettlement that has emerged in communities across the U.S. recently erupted in Springfield. The city’s mayor had pushed back against the resettlement of refugees there, saying that they place a burden on municipal resources and calling on the U.S. State Department to stop the flow of refugees.
  • Update about the Lautenberg Amendment and Refugee Funding

    Jan 14, 2014

    Last night, appropriators introduced a $1.1 trillion government spending bill (H.R. 3547) which is expected to move through the House and Senate later this week. The bill includes a one-year extension of the Lautenberg Amendment, which previously expired on September 30th.
  • Raising the Red Flag on LGBTI Asylum Obstacles in the U.S.

    Jan 13, 2014

    With 76 countries having severe criminal penalties for being gay, the most vulnerable group in the world today is refugees who are sexual minorities. They are the marginalized among the marginalized, the least protected among the least protected. They live under a constant threat, forced to hide their identities and live in fear.

  • Statement to Senate - Hearing on Syrian Refugee Crisis

    Jan 07, 2014

    The Syrian crisis has imperiled a staggering—and growing—number of refugees rendering it the worst displacement crisis in decades. The United States has demonstrated its commitment to addressing this humanitarian emergency. It has become clear that the United States must also include refugee resettlement in its response to the crisis.
  • Report from the Field: Syrian Refugees in Jordan

    Dec 12, 2013

    With funding from the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, HIAS' expert on immigration and refugee law and policy, Elissa Mittman, traveled to Jordan this October to begin to identify vulnerable Syrian refugees who are in urgent need of resettlement. Her report reveals a very difficult road ahead for refugees staying in the country for the indefinite future, as well as for those who need to find refuge in a third country like the United States.
  • New UNHCR Legal Guidelines Step Forward for LGBTI Refugees

    Nov 27, 2013

    This year’s historic election-day wins in Maryland, Maine, and Washington supporting gay marriage are emblematic of the dramatic strides that the U.S. has taken to recognize the social and legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals. Parallel to this domestic progress, the US government has publicly supported the rights of sexual minorities internationally.

  • HIAS Urges Israel to Adopt Humane Asylum System

    Nov 27, 2013

    According to Mark Hetfield, despite the efforts of non-governmental entities, even the most democratic countries struggle with refugee protection, often subtly undermining it. A new bill before Israel’s Knesset is particularly troubling.
  • New Rules to Aid Syrians Seeking Asylum

    Nov 08, 2013

    Melanie Nezer addresses the changes in the Patriot Act’s overly broad definitions of “terrorist activity” and “terrorist group” that have unjustly prevented thousands of refugees from receiving protection in the United States.

  • The Shadow of Kristallnacht

    Nov 08, 2013

    Merely remembering the horrors of Kristallnacht, the 1938 overnight Nazi-inspired rampage that destroyed thousands of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses, is not enough. 

  • Providing Detained Asylum Seekers Access to Representation and Justice

    Oct 25, 2013

    Imagine barely escaping a targeted, brutal attack on your family by armed militants or experiencing persecution triggered by your sexual orientation, making your way to the welcoming shores of the United States—and being immediately detained and imprisoned without any access to legal counsel or representation. This is the harsh reality of thousands of asylum seekers searching for haven in the United States.

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