Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society: not so many Jews to resettle, moving on to other refugees
Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 17, 2013
And, cooling their push for amnesty!
Update July 23: Maybe they lied to their donors, but they are not backing off lobbying in DC for illegal aliens. Here is a tweet HIAS sent out today:
They don’t say it specifically here, but we have long known that HIAS (one of the top nine refugee resettlement contractors for the US State Department) resettles Muslims. But, that isn’t mentioned here. There is, however, other more interesting news.
It seems they are searching for relevance (to donors) and in order to do that, they are planning to back-off their up-until-now very visible presence in Washington pushing for “comprehensive” immigration reform.
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (JTA) — The new HIAS is not your grandmother’s Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and it’s certainly not the one that brought her mother over from the Pale of Settlement.
After decades as the Jewish community’s foremost voice on immigration — first in leading the resettlement of Jews who arrived here at the turn of the 20th century, then in absorbing hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews in the 1980s and ’90s — HIAS is making formal its shift to refugee care and resettlement overseas.
The vast majority of its work will not be with Jews, and most of it will not be in the United States.
Pres. Hetfield told attendees that ‘immigration reform’ was too partisan. That is incredible since he (or HIAS) tweeted every other minute on the subject throughout the lead-up to the Gang of Eight’s bill (S.744) passing the Senate! And, besides haven’t we been told all along that the Gang is bi-partisan?
I’ve been wondering why these contractors are pushing for the legalization of 11 million job competitors for their refugees—refugees they are supposed to be helping to find employment. Is it possible some are wising up?
By the way, Hetfield spoke at the May State Department hearing where we also testified.
Underscoring the shift are challenges that are not unique to HIAS: the search for a message appealing to younger Jews considered less parochially minded than their parents, and the dangers of associating with a particular issue — in this case immigration reform — seen as partisan.
“The same stakeholders who were interested in immigration issues were not the same stakeholders who were interested in refugees,” HIAS President Mark Hetfield told the group’s worldwide staff at a retreat last month just north of New York City.
Not too many Jews at risk any more?
The shift culminates a 15-year period in which HIAS has expanded its operations in refugee camps overseas, where it has accrued a strong reputation for service. And it comes at a time when there are few at-risk Jews in totalitarian countries that potentially require rescue.
HIAS directors say the quest for relevance does not mean it is entirely abandoning the infrastructure it has built to rescue Jews at risk should the need arise. But faced with a choice between satisfying an older generation willing to support an organization focused narrowly on Jewish needs and a younger generation more inclined to see itself as citizens of the world, HIAS chose youth.
Going to tone-down their push for amnesty for illegal aliens, so as not to tick-off potential donors!
HIAS is not abandoning immigration reform. It remains one of 26 members of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, which has made immigration reform a priority this year. And its website calls for comprehensive immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers in the United States and establishes border policies that enhance security while protecting human rights.
But HIAS officials hope the de-emphasis of the group’s immigration work in favor of refugee resettlement will help smooth the edges of HIAS’ relations with potential partners put off by its reform agenda.
“People would say to us, are you for illegal immigration?” Spinner said, describing the reaction of certain Christian groups. “The issues that are around refugees are much more intense and critical.” [Of course that is a little confusing because most of the Christian groups (Catholics, Lutherans, Evangelicals) HIAS would be associating with are all pushing for amnesty too!—ed]
Interesting: Check out their most recent Form 990, click here, and note that they had a revenue stream of about $23 million that year and $13 million came from you—the US taxpayer. I guess they do have to fund raise, they aren’t getting as big of a piece of taxpayer pie as some of their fellow contractors who are receiving upwards of 95% of their funding from the federal treasury.
Hmmm! If other contractors had to raise more money privately, maybe they too would get off the amnesty bandwagon.
I wonder if HIAS is still getting their million dollar grants from the feds to teach refugees how to have healthy marriages? (click here)
Addendum: I am having cable internet problems at my location, so if you don’t hear from me in a reasonable time, suspect that my internet is down again.
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