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At today’s hearing in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, “Asylum Fraud: Abusing America’s Compassion?” Melanie Nezer, vice president for Policy and Advocacy at HIAS, submitted a written statement for the official hearing record.
The Patriot Act’s overly broad definitions of “terrorist activity” and “terrorist group” that have unjustly prevented thousands of refugees—who do not pose a threat to the United States—from receiving protection in the United States will no longer be applied to certain refugees, according to an announcement Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.
HIAS celebrates the recent passage of legislation that will fund the government through September 2014, including a one-year extension of the Lautenberg Amendment, which facilitates the resettlement of religious minority groups.
HIAS has announced three additions to its senior management team with leaders from the Jewish social justice world, who will join recently appointed President and CEO Mark Hetfield. Rabbi Jennie Rosenn is assuming the newly created role of Vice President for Community Engagement; Riva Silverman will join HIAS as Vice President for External Affairs; and Melanie Nezer is being promoted to Vice President for Policy and Advocacy.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced last week that one million refugee children have now fled Syria, and two million more children have fled their homes and remain within the country. HIAS has released a High Holidays supplement that focuses on keeping the plight of refugees central in our prayers.
Dale Schwartz, of Atlanta, Georgia, was this week elected Chairman of the Board of HIAS. An immigration lawyer, he is the twenty-second community leader elected to chair the agency since its founding in the 1880s. His initial term is for one year.
Today HIAS launched The Welcome Initiative, a campaign to raise awareness around issues surrounding the treatment and welcome of refugees.
Mark Hetfield today was named President & CEO of HIAS, effective immediately. The announcement was made by HIAS Chairman Marc Silberberg, following a unanimous vote by the HIAS Board of Directors.