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HIAS Blog

  • Broad terrorism policies unfairly target victims

    Feb 13, 2014

    Our current policies toward people who have fled persecution and seek protection in the United States are so all-encompassing that they punish the very people we have traditionally prided ourselves on helping.
  • Statement to U.S. House - Hearing on Asylum Fraud

    Feb 11, 2014

    Terrorism as defined by law includes acts intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion. Common definitions of terrorism do not include paying a ransom to obtain the release of a kidnapped child. Common definitions of terrorism do not include selling food at a restaurant, hosting family members for a night, or treating the wounded.
  • Administration Announces Exemptions to Broad Terrorism Policies

    Feb 07, 2014

    These exemptions are a step towards fairness after legislation enacted by Congress in 2001 significantly broadened the definition of “terrorist activity” to encompass some activities that had no real-life connection to terrorism.
  • President Obama Calls for Action on Immigration Reform, Help for Syrians, in his State of the Union Address

    Jan 29, 2014

    Last night, President Obama addressed both immigration reform and the crisis in Syria during his State of the Union Address. On immigration reform, he gave a compelling economic argument, declaring that “if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement—and fix our broken immigration system,” and noting that economists claim there will be a $1 trillion deficit decrease if Congress enacts immigration reform.

  • Eliminating Barriers to Protection for Syrian Refugees Seeking Sanctuary in the U.S.

    Jan 15, 2014

    As the conflict worsens, refugees continue to flee the chaos and violence and seek sanctuary in neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Turkey. What is to become of them in the long run?
  • 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.

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