SILVER SPRING, Md. – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) recently joined several organizations focused on providing support to immigrants and refugees at HIAS headquarters to discuss the illegality and potentially devastating effects of President Trump’s proposed travel and immigration bans, which have been legally challenged by HIAS and others and rejected by multiple federal courts, including the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
“Despite minor changes, the Trump Administration’s new executive order is just as legally objectionable and morally reprehensible as the original, as it was for a litany of strong reasons that U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland and his counterpart in Hawaii blocked part or all of its implementation,” said Senator Cardin, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. “There is a real threat that this nation faces from terrorism, and our policy efforts must address that threat. This order does not do that. Instead, it makes us less safe, damages our moral leadership and strengthens those who would do us harm either through recruitment or self-radicalization.”
Senator Cardin was joined in the conversation at HIAS — the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees — by representatives from a wide range of partners, including South Asian Americans Leading Together, Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships, Prince George’s County Muslim Council, Council on American-Islamic Relations, CASA de Maryland, American Civil Liberties Union, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Jewish Community Relations Council and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.
“We were honored to host Senator Cardin and partner organizations for this important conversation about litigation and broader advocacy to support refugees,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS Vice President for Policy and Advocacy. “All of us need to be vocal and visible in standing up for our history and values and representing to the world that America still welcomes refugees and immigrants.”
Last year, HIAS relocated its headquarters to Maryland, from where the agency administers refugee resettlement programming in 20 sites around the country, manages humanitarian programs in 14 countries around the world, and provides legal services to asylum seekers in Silver Spring and the Greater Washington, D.C., area.