HIAS Responds to Chemical Attacks on Syrian Civilians and U.S. Airstrikes

WASHINGTON—In response to this week’s chemical attack on Syrian civilians, and last night’s escalation in the U.S. involvement in Syria, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield issued the following statement: 
“The tragic gassing of Syrian civilians, including children, is a reminder of the horrors Syrian families have been fleeing since the start of this conflict in 2011. America must do more to welcome and protect the innocent Syrian men, women and children who are escaping the brutality that President Trump responded to last night. An equally forceful humanitarian response is urgently needed, and the United States has the opportunity to lead by example.  
“Since 2011, an estimated 11 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes. Yet President Trump has twice sought to ban refugees from finding safety on our shores. Next week on Passover, Jews across the country will gather to tell our own story of fleeing oppression and finding freedom. For many American Jews, the historical experience of being a refugee is a permanent reminder to empathize with the plight of today’s Syrians who seek the same liberation. 
“The Trump administration must welcome and protect Syrian refugees and asylum seekers who are desperately seeking safe haven from the terrible violence inflicted at the hands of their own government. HIAS will continue to advocate for the safety and dignity of refugees, and we hope yesterday’s action is a signal that the Trump administration will change course when it comes to assisting this vulnerable population.” 

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