Border Response

Migrants walk towards El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico, on the border with the United States, June 21, 2018. (GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)We continue to see the devastating effects of current U.S. immigration policy. Many people attempting to legally seek asylum as they enter the U.S. at our southern border are being treated as criminals and thousands of families have been torn apart.

 

How HIAS Is Responding:

  • We have launched an emergency response program to ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal representation. Legal representation can have a huge impact on asylum seekers’ ability to be released from detention and be reunited with their children.
     
  • HIAS is proud to have placed Border Fellows in three non-profit legal organizations along the southern border to increase their capacity to provide legal representation to asylum seekers in and out of detention. One fellow is working out of our affiliate, JFS San Diegoand two other fellows are working with new partners in El Paso: Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services.
     
  • If you are interested in joining a future HIAS-led pro bono attorney delegation to the border, please fill out the application form and we will contact you when the next trip is planned. We are expecting to organize a trip to El Paso in late spring/early summer.
     
  • In March, more than 20 rabbis, cantors, and activists spent three days at the border on a human rights delegation led by HIAS and T’ruah, the rabbinic human rights organization.In August, HIAS and the ADL led a trip to the border for leaders of national Jewish organizations to witness firsthand how the Trump administration’s policies are endangering individuals and families fleeing violence and persecution. HIAS also sent a legal delegation to the Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas to assist with adult asylum applicants, many of whom have been separated from their children after crossing the U.S. border. In July, we sent a team of legal and program experts to several areas along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to determine how best to respond to the crisis.
     
  • We continue to mobilize the Jewish community to be a strong, persistent moral voice in support of fair, humane treatment of asylum seekers. In July, HIAS organized a solidarity mission of 40 Rabbis and Jewish leaders to the border. 
     
  • We engage in asylum advocacy in Washington, seeking the reversal of the Administration’s zero-tolerance policy.

Look here to see how you can help asylum seekers now.

See the stories below for how HIAS has been working to help asylum seekers at the border since the crisis started.


 

On Their Own Time, Lawyers Helping at the Border

May 21, 2019

HIAS-led delegations of pro bono attorneys travel to the border to provide additional legal services and build on the work being done by the HIAS Border Fellows

Border Fellow Helps Those Seeking a "Glimmer of Hope"

Apr 09, 2019

Nicolas Palazzo is the new HIAS Border Fellow working in El Paso, Texas.

Jewish Clergy at U.S.-Mexico Border Examine Human Rights Issues

Apr 02, 2019

Last week more than 20 rabbis, cantors, and activists went to the U.S. -Mexico border in a human rights delegation led by HIAS and T’ruah, the rabbinic human rights organization.

Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen Testifies on Border Security

Mar 06, 2019

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today defended the Trump Administration’s declaration of a national emergency at the Southern border and asked for changes in laws regarding the process of asylum seekers into the United States.

Pro Bono Trip Helps Fathers and Sons Detained at the Border

Jan 11, 2019

HIAS led another delegation of staff and volunteers to the U.S.-Mexico border to provide legal services to asylum seekers.

2018 YEAR IN REVIEW: Challenges, Heartbreak, and Resolve

Dec 26, 2018

2018 was a challenging year for HIAS as we continued our work of fighting for refugees and asylum seekers.

HIAS Border Fellow Helping Right Where the Need is Great

Nov 30, 2018

Luis Gonzalez is the new HIAS Border Fellow at Jewish Family Service in San Diego.

HIAS Statement on Federal Judge Order on Asylum

Nov 20, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Md.– A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to resume considering the claims of all asylum seekers who cross into the United States. HIAS had objected to the administration’s...

HIAS Statement on Administration Change to Asylum Rules

Nov 09, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Md.-- The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have issued a new rule that fundamentally changes access to asylum in the U.S. by making it harder for many to seek safety and...

HIAS Objects to Policies that Would Harm Immigrant Children

Nov 05, 2018

Today HIAS submitted a public comment objecting to the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the...

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