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Union for Reform Judaism Joins HIAS to Sponsor Jewish Rally for Refugees in New York City

Union for Reform Judaism Joins HIAS to Sponsor Jewish Rally for Refugees in New York City

On Sunday, February 12, HIAS will host a massive Jewish Rally for Refugees in New York City. The action will take place in Battery Park, and at least 1,700 people are expected to attend. The New York rally is part of a National Day of Action for Refugees on February 12, with partner actions happening around the country on the same day.

The National Day of Action for Refugees is a coordinated national response to President Trump’s January 27 executive order, which severely curtailed the United States’ refugee resettlement program. The sweeping order also impacted legal permanent residents, resulting in some green card holders being detained at airports.

The executive order implemented the following changes to the refugee resettlement program:

  • Paused the entire refugee resettlement program for 120 days.
  • Halted all visas, immigrant and non-immigrant, for 30 days from seven countries, the entrance of whose nationals may be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” These countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Sudan – all Muslim-majority nations. 
  • Provided exceptions for religious minorities, mainly Christians. 
  • Indefinitely halted the admittance of Syrian refugees until the President determines that doing so aligns with “the national interest.”
  • Capped the total number of refugees to be resettled in 2017 at 50,000.

Spontaneous protests erupted around the country immediately following the issuance of the order, with airports being a major flashpoint. In Washington, D.C., Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center, joined faith leaders in marching to the White House to demand the reversal of the order and to proclaim that refugees are welcome in the United States, regardless of religion or national origin.

The Union for Reform Judaism is proud to join other Reform Jewish institutions including the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Hebrew Union College, and Women of Reform Judaism in co-sponsoring the National Day of Action for Refugees. For the most up to date information on the New York City rally, check the Facebook event page.

If there is not an action in your area as part of the National Day of Action for Refugees, you can still take action by lifting your voice in opposition to  the unjust refugee ban to your elected officials. To learn more about the RAC’s work on refugees, check out the refugees issue page. For the latest updates, be sure to check the RAC’s Urgency of Now Resource Center for regular updates. 

Shelby Friedman is a 2016-2017 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. Shelby is from Dallas, TX, where she is a member of Temple Emanu-El. She graduated from Middlebury College. 

Shelby Friedman

Published: 2/09/2017