Border Response

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. 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.
     
  • HIAS is organizing small groups of volunteers to travel to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (across from El Paso, TX), on a rolling basis, for three to five day periods, to fill an urgent need. If you are interested in volunteering and speak Spanish, please fill out the interest form and we will contact you based on your responses and our needs.
     
  • If you are interested in joining a future HIAS-led pro bono attorney delegation to the border, please fill out the interest form and we will contact you when the next trip is planned.
     
  • Since 2018 HIAS has organized a variety of border delegations to assist asylum seekers. In March 2019, 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 April and May 2019, several delegations of pro bono attorneys traveled to the border to provide legal services and build on the work being done by the HIAS Border Fellows. 
  • We continue to mobilize the Jewish community to be a strong, persistent moral voice in support of fair, humane treatment of asylum seekers and we engage in asylum advocacy in Washington, seeking the reversal of the Administration’s zero-tolerance policy.  Read about a recent action here
     
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and HIAS are working together to provide representation to forcibly separated immigrant and refugee families who have come to the United States seeking safety.
     

Click 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.


 

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...

HIAS Statement on President Trump's Misleading Comments About Asylum

Nov 02, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- In a speech today, President Trump aimed to convince the American people that a group of exhausted men, women, and children who have fled some of the most violent countries on earth present an existential threat to our strong and powerful nation.

America has the...

WATCH: Witnesses at the Border

Sep 04, 2018

Last month, 27 leaders from 17 national Jewish organizations, led by HIAS and the Anti-Defamation League, traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to get a firsthand look at the crisis affecting families, asylum seekers, and others. This new video follows the group as they bear witness.

A Little Help From a Lawyer Can Mean a Lot: Reflections From the Border

Aug 30, 2018

HIAS sent a legal delegation of volunteers, staff, attorneys, and translators to the Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas.

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