HIAS Welcomes Introduction of Secure Northern Triangle Act
Jul 06, 2016
WASHINGTON—HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, welcomes the introduction of the Secure Northern Triangle Act (S. 3106) in the Senate last week. The legislation was introduced by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and cosponsored by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Schumer (D-NY), Murray (D-WA), Leahy (D-VT), Carper (D-DE) and Cardin (D-MD).
“The global refugee crisis is not just in the Middle East and Europe, it’s here in our own front yard,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS’ vice president for policy and advocacy. “The U.S. government’s deterrence-focused response is ineffective, and creates even more hazardous conditions for asylum seekers. The legislation introduced is a critical step toward ensuring that families fleeing persecution and violence in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have increased access to resettlement and protection. We strongly urge the Senate to pass this bill and reaffirm the United States’ longstanding commitment to providing refuge to the most vulnerable.”
This week, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield is attending a UNHCR high-level roundtable on “Protection Needs in the Northern Triangle of Central America.”
The two-day gathering will bring together government representatives from the United States to Panama, UN organizations, and NGOs like HIAS in San José, Costa Rica, for a meeting on refugees and displaced people from the Northern Triangle of Central America and the urgent need to find solutions to this growing protection situation.
According to the UNCHR, “the number of refugees and asylum-seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras alone reached 109,800 in 2015 – a more than five-fold increase over three years – with most of them seeking safety in Mexico and the United States. Populations in those three countries, known collectively as the Northern Triangle of Central America, have been hard hit by widespread, life-threatening violence perpetrated by organized and well-armed transnational criminal groups.”