One of HIAS’ most important roles is providing asylum seekers with information about the asylum process and the rights they can exercise. But doing so can be difficult.
“Although there are organizations — including HIAS — that provide 'Know Your Rights' presentations in border cities, it is impossible to reach every asylum seeker,” says Sue Kenney-Pfalzer, the director of HIAS’ Border & Asylum Network.
To make things easier, HIAS collaborated with the Catholic Legal Immigiration Network (CLINIC) and the Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham University to create a comprehensive animated “Know Your Rights” video for asylum seekers.
“This video informs asylum seekers of the basics of U.S. asylum and how the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program works,” says Kenney-Pfalzer. “By making this important information available in a shareable video link, it will reach people that otherwise would have no idea of their rights.”
The “Remain in Mexico” policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed in the United States. Doing so makes it much harder for them to access the information they need to understand what’s happening to their asylum applications. Kenney-Pfalzer hopes the new video will help make that information “easily accessible.”