HIAS Statement on Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON — In response to yesterday’s insurrection at the Capitol, HIAS released the following statement:

Yesterday’s insurrection at the United States Capitol was an assault on democracy and an attempt to overturn a fair election process, incited by the actions and words of the president of the United States.

For generations of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants, the United States has represented hope and possibility, safety and freedom. The unlawful actions of those who stormed the Capitol are antithetical to that vision, and are already evoking comparisons to the lawlessness and chaos in the countries from which so many people are forced to flee.

We were horrified to see the images of armed vigilantes, Nazi and Confederate flags, crosses and nooses on Capitol Hill, and angered to see the lack of response from law enforcement in that moment.

While the specific events of yesterday may be temporary, the underlying forces of racialized hatred, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism are not. They have been part of the entire history of the United States, where HIAS was founded in the late 19th century.

We acknowledge the historical trauma and pain that our communities, our clients, our colleagues, and our partners are experiencing today. Through our work to welcome refugees and immigrants, HIAS commits to doing all we can to achieve social, racial, and economic justice for all, and to realize the promise that has drawn so many to the United States.


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