HIAS Welcomes Introduction of Stateless Protection Act 

SILVER SPRING, Md. — HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield released the following statement on the introduction of the Stateless Protection Act in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives:

“We commend Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) for introducing the Stateless Protection Act, which would provide stateless people in the U.S. with pathways to permanent residency and citizenship. We also thank our partners from the organization United Stateless for their tireless advocacy, and we are proud to have worked alongside them on this issue.

Though it has been a year since the Department of Homeland Security publicly announced its commitment to adopt a definition of statelessness to enhance protections for affected individuals, more than 200,000 stateless people in the United States and their families are still waiting.

The U.S. currently has no legal framework to address the needs of people who are not recognized as citizens of any nation, because the territory where they were born or once resided has ceased to exist, or has come under the jurisdiction of another state. Because of their difficulties accessing identity and other documents, stateless people in this country face significant barriers to education, employment, housing, health care, the justice system, and the ability to travel freely.

As an organization rooted in the Jewish imperative of welcoming the stranger, and with more than a century of experience helping people trapped in the legal limbo of statelessness, HIAS urges lawmakers in the Senate and the House to move swiftly to pass this crucial legislation.”


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