HIAS on Refugee Announcement: “Nothing More than Business as Usual”

WASHINGTON — In response to President Obama’s announcement that the Administration would be prepared to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield issued the following statement:

“This is nothing more than business as usual. The Administration had already been planning to resettle 75,000 refugees in 2016 – including around 8,000 Syrians – before Syrian refugees were fleeing to Europe on a massive scale.

“We are dealing with a global humanitarian crisis to which the entire world must respond. If Germany can open its doors to 800,000 asylum seekers, the U.S., with a population four times the size of Germany’s and a history as a nation of immigrants and refugees, can take 100,000. We’ve done this successfully before.”

Hetfield added, “Refugees are not a burden. The Syrian refugees that will join our communities have escaped terrible violence and persecution and are looking for a safe place to live, work, and raise their children. It’s no time for business as usual – the U.S. must offer safe haven to a meaningful number of Syrians who need it.

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