HIAS Celebrates Hard-Fought Lautenberg Reauthorization

SILVER SPRING, Md. — HIAS is praising Congress for reauthorizing the Lautenberg Amendment for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2024. With bipartisan support, lawmakers extended the program that provides a pathway for members of certain historically persecuted religious groups to be reunited with family members already living in the U.S. — as Congress has done every year since the Lautenberg Amendment was first enacted in 1989.

“We are profoundly relieved that lawmakers have continued the proud tradition of supporting religious freedom by reauthorizing the Lautenberg Amendment, which has provided safe passage for Jews, Christians, Baha’i, and others to escape persecution in Iran, as well as religious minorities from Former Soviet Union countries,” said HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield. “The Lautenberg Amendment continues to play a very important role in advancing America’s commitment to supporting freedom of religion, especially during a time when, particularly in Iran, it is coming under increasing pressure.”

“We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our multi-faith partners who provided support during the hard-fought advocacy push to get Lautenberg across the finish line,” Hetfield continued. “We also want to particularly thank Representative Kay Granger, Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee; as well as Representative Mario Díaz-Balart, Chairman of the State Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPs) Subcommittee for their successful work to keep this escape route to religious freedom open for Christians, Jews, Baha’i, and other religious minorities in Iran.”

Search HIAS