Feb. 11, 2021

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Celia Gomez, HIAS Europe Program Officer

Faith-based organizations have been critical in helping refugees integrate into host communities, said leaders of religious groups at a Feb. 9 event organized by HIAS Europe.

Officials from HIAS and three other faith-based organizations — Islamic Relief Worldwide, the Quaker Council for European Affairs, and the Lutheran World Federation — brought more than 250 people together virtually to discuss how religious groups and communities are aiding refugees and supporting the Global Compact for Refugees. …

Feb. 04, 2021

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Sharon Samber, HIAS.org

Insecurity in the Central African Republic (CAR) has recently displaced more than 200,000 people and helped form what is perhaps the biggest emerging refugee crisis in the world right now.

While the situation is not yet directly impacting HIAS operations in neighboring Chad, HIAS is aware of developments and watching the situation.

“While carefully monitoring the developments in CAR, HIAS continues its decade-long response to the needs of Darfurian refugees, including expanding its services to accommodate the increased influx from that region as of 2020,” said Raphael Marcus, HIAS’ senior vice president of programs…

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Jan. 29, 2021

Jacob Soboroff, NBC News and MSNBC correspondent and bestselling author, and Sue Kenney-Pfalzer, HIAS’ director for the Border and Asylum Network, discussed the current state of the family separation crisis, the impact it has had, and how organizations like HIAS are using our national legal and asylum networks to fight back.

In the summer of 2018, between 3,000 and 4,000 children were forcibly taken from their parents as a result of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy against those seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. Years later, hundreds of families still remain separated, and some parents may…

Jan. 29, 2021

Max J. Rosenthal, HIAS.org

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(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is barely more than a week old, but it has already produced progress on immigration. The White House swiftly ended the Trump administration’s Muslim Ban, sent a sweeping immigration bill to Congress, and took other actions to make the immigration system more humane. Further changes are expected as soon as next week.

But having a new president in office does not mean refugee advocates can relax. “We cannot be complacent just because Joe Biden is in the White House,” said Naomi Steinberg, HIAS’ vice president of policy…

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Jan. 27, 2021

Sharon Samber, HIAS.org

The Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, were created and used by the Trump Administration since January 2019 to force most asylum seekers who presented themselves at the southern border to wait for their asylum hearings in uncertain conditions in Mexico, rather than in the United States. Tens of thousands of people were affected by the policy, and hundreds are known to have suffered violent crimes in Mexico.

A new HIAS report, “ Roadmap to Recovery: A Path Forward after the Remain in Mexico Program,” offers comprehensive recommendations on how to end and dismantle MPP…

Jan. 26, 2021

Max J. Rosenthal, HIAS.org

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(Lucian Perkins for HIAS)

For the last four years, America’s refugee resettlement system has been under attack.

The Trump administration repeatedly slashed the annual cap on refugee admissions, setting a new record low each time; implemented new policies like “extreme vetting” to make resettlement approval even harder to obtain; and denigrated the notion of accepting refugees into the country at all.

Now the Biden administration is promising change. During last year’s campaign, now-President Biden pledged to increase the annual admissions cap to 125,000, its highest level in more than 25 years. …

Sharon Samber, HIAS.org

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(John Moore/Getty Images)

As the Biden administration prepares to undo the damage done to the immigration system, it will be under pressure to work quickly but it will be hampered by complex issues regarding asylum policies and regulations.

Immigration reform appears as a top issue in President-elect Joe Biden’s “first 100 days” agenda — the Biden immigration plan calls for ending family separation, detrimental asylum policies, and the mismanagement of the asylum system in that time period.

Biden transition officials have started to draft plans to gradually end the Migrant Protection Protocols — or MPP, also known…

Jan. 20, 2021

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(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

For perhaps the first time in four years, there seems to be good news on the horizon for America’s immigration system. President Joe Biden, who took office this afternoon, has pledged to repair and reform that system, including restoring the right to asylum and the resettlement of refugees. His plans, if enacted, would be a sharp break from the Trump administration’s harsh and sometimes abusive policies toward displaced persons.

But while a new administration offers new hope for refugees and asylum seekers, it does not offer any guarantees. Immigration is always a contentious issue…

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Jan. 8, 2020

Sharon Samber, HIAS.org

In late fall of 2020, Alex Theran found herself trekking in the rain through the jungle of Guyana, walking on logs to stay out of the mud.

Theran is the new country director of HIAS Guyana, and the office only opened last year. The country is a relatively new destination for refugees, but the displaced population there has grown rapidly. …

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Dec. 22, 2020

Sharon Samber, HIAS.org

2020 was undoubtedly a year many people will want to forget.

The world has not experienced a public health crisis like the one we are currently enduring since the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in myriad ways, refugees and asylum seekers — who often don’t have the same rights as citizens — have suffered disproportionately. And yet, many refugees were on the frontlines themselves, helping to fight the disease.

In the United States, the Trump administration effectively shut down the asylum system and, for the fourth…

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