HIAS Welcomes Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Urges Reform of Refugee and Asylum Laws

(New York, NY) – HIAS, the global migration agency of the American Jewish community, welcomes the Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform released today with the support of Senators Schumer (D-NY), McCain (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), Graham (R-SC), Menendez (D-NJ), Rubio (R-FL), Bennet (D-CO), and Flake (R-AZ). While we await the actual legislative language, HIAS is grateful for the leadership of these senators and for their reaching agreement on key issues: There must be a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. – including undocumented students who would be covered by the DREAM Act – and shorter wait times for family members seeking to be reunited with their loved ones in the U.S.

HIAS President and CEO (Interim) Mark Hetfield stated today: “Comprehensive immigration reform is an opportunity to fix a broken system that adversely affects immigrants in the U.S., including refugees and asylum seekers. Immigration laws enacted in 1996, intended to crack down on undocumented migration, also included all kinds of artificial, technical barriers that deny asylum to persecuted people who have already fled to the United States. Now is the time to fix the laws that have undermined America’s leadership in providing safe haven to the persecuted.”

The senators will address their proposal in a press conference scheduled for 2:30 pm EST today. Tomorrow, in Las Vegas, President Obama will release his blueprint on immigration reform.

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