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. Two fellows are 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 Border Response Team: We are looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers for an ongoing opportunity to travel to El Paso/Ciudad Juarez for one week (Sunday night through Friday) to fill an urgent need to screen asylum seekers for potential representation. You do not have to be an attorney or have prior experience, as HIAS will provide training. We are also looking for remote volunteers to translate documents for asylum seekers in Ciudad Juarez. Fill out an application form if you would like to participate.
     
  • 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. There have been human rights delegations and several delegations of pro bono attorneys have 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.


 

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.

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.
HIAS-ADL Jewish Leadership Border Mission

Jewish Leaders on HIAS-ADL Trip Witness Border Crisis Up Close

Aug 24, 2018

Sometimes you have to see things for yourself and that is just what 27 leaders from 17 national Jewish organizations did on August 21-22 as part of a HIAS-ADL led delegation to view firsthand the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

At U.S.-Mexico Border, HIAS Examines Crisis Up Close

Aug 07, 2018

In July HIAS sent a team of legal and program experts to several areas along both sides of the the U.S.-Mexico border to determine how best to respond to the family separation and asylum crisis.

LISTEN: Asylum and Family Separation Briefing Call

Aug 03, 2018

Listen as HIAS experts discuss the current situation with separated parents and children and asylum seekers, what HIAS is doing, and how we can work together to fight back.

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