León Rodríguez: Welcoming Refugees is More Than Just a Humanitarian Obligation


Before he became Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security, León Rodríguez was the grandchild of Jews who fled anti-semitism in Poland and Turkey. They lived in Cuba for many years before coming to the U.S. and settling in Miami.

Although today he has a distinguished career in government service, he has not forgotten his roots or lost his empathy for those who find themselves forced to flee their homes.

“At the end of the day, refugees and refugee families are just like us, except in much more difficult situations,” Rodríguez says in an exclusive video interview given to HIAS in his Washington, D.C., office.

“I do think we have a humanitarian obligation to help them. I also think it's a global security imperative, when people are displaced, to manage that displacement. Not to treat it as somebody else’s problem.”

Watch the video above, and help us spread the word by sharing it on social media using #RefugeesWelcome.

For more on Director Rodriguez, click here to read the interview he gave to HIAS.org for Jewish American Heritage Month.


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