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HIAS Responds to Reports of “Assimilation Test” for Refugees

SILVER SPRING, Md.—As part of its annual report to Congress around the Presidential Determination, the Trump administration indicated that some sort of assimilation assessment may be included in refugee referrals in Fiscal Year 2018.

In response, Melanie Nezer, senior vice president for public affairs at HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, issued the following statement:

“The notion that future refugee admissions may be subject to an ‘assimilation test’ is dangerous, murky, and misguided. The United States admits refugees because they have been persecuted and we have the ability to offer them safety and a future. It is scary to think that the government is considering adding a completely subjective element to the process that would allow Trump administration officials to determine which refugees would make the best Americans.

“Resettlement organizations, in partnership with local religious and charitable organizations across the U.S., help refugees become acculturated and self-sufficient within a year after their arrival. By assisting refugees to build stable and secure lives in the United States, we ensure that they can fully participate in their communities – economically, socially and politically.”

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