Members of Congress Visit HIAS HQ To Express Support For Refugees

By Gabe Cahn,

Just days after a federal court in Maryland found President Trump’s revised executive order to likely be unconstitutional, two Members of Congress paid a timely visit to HIAS headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

On Monday, March 20, Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD 8th District) and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) both stopped by to meet with HIAS staff, express support for refugees, and strategize with organizational partners on how to resist President Trump’s hateful policies.

Congressman Raskin met with HIAS staff in the morning to discuss his first impressions as a new member of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as his position of Vice Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over immigration and refugee issues.

Later in the day, Senator Cardin convened leaders of several refugee, immigrant and faith organizations for a roundtable discussion about the Trump administration’s proposed refugee and travel bans.

“Despite minor changes, the Trump Administration’s new executive order is just as legally objectionable and morally reprehensible as the original,” said Senator Cardin, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

HIAS Senior Vice President Shelly Pitterman and Vice President Melanie Nezer both spoke at the event, thanking the Senator for his leadership and addressing the importance of communities working together to defend refugees and immigrants.

“All of us need to be vocal and visible in standing up for our history and values and representing to the world that America still welcomes refugees and immigrants," said Nezer.

Other organizations represented at the roundtable included: South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships (OCP), Prince George’s County Muslim Council (PGCMC), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), CASA de Maryland, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

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