We earlier posted on the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society‘s shuttering of its Chicago office and here we learn that the refugee resettlement function of it Southern California office has been closed.
The program slowdown is informative, but I found the discussion of the Lautenberg Program most interesting.
HIAS has been a big defender and beneficiary of the special deal for Iranian minorities (non-Muslims) who ‘made their way’ to Austria (by whatever means they could) and from there we picked them up as refugees destined for America.
You might be thinking good thoughts about Iranian minorities getting out of that country and that is okay. After all, that is what Donald Trump proposed while campaigning for President—that we should pick those we want to welcome to America.
However, demonstrating the incredible chutzpah of HIAS, is the fact that with Trump’s travel ban and restrictions regarding who is resettled in the US, HIAS lawyers have argued in court that there cannot be a religious test that favors minority religions and excludes Muslims.
WTH! They have been backing Lautenberg for years which is exactly that—a religious test for admissions to benefit Jews, Christians and other minorities in Iran and Russia.
They can’t have it both ways!
See e-mail appeals from HIAS demonstrating this mind-numbing hypocrisy! How dare Trump have a religious test benefiting Christians over Muslims from the Middle East they say (while we have had one for decades to benefit Jews!). We should give some kind of hypocrisy award!
Here is KPCC in Southern California:
As of Dec. 1, Jewish Family Service suspended its refugee resettlement program. For decades, the agency has helped resettle refugees from places like Iran, Afghanistan, and the former Soviet Union, all fleeing war, persecution and other crises.
“With the new rules, that pipeline shut down temporarily, and then, more completely,” said Margaret Avineri, who directs the agency’s refugee resettlement program.
Avineri said her agency typically resettles about 110 refugees a year. This past year, it resettled only 37.
Austria shut down the pipeline:
Many of its cases came through what’s called the Lautenberg program, which assists refugees who are religious minorities, mostly from Iran. They travel from Iran to the United States via Austria, which earlier this year stopped granting the refugees transit visas in light of President Trump’s travel restrictions.
While the agency processed about 100 refugee family applications in the past year, they are still pending approval, Avineri said. That affected the program directly and financially since the agency is funded based on the refugees they resettle, she said. [Well, well, at least they are admitting that refugee bodies=funding.—ed]
“Now that the pipeline has basically dried up, there is no one waiting in Vienna that we have processed. We were unable to continue the services, so we had to suspend the program.”
For our HIAS archive click here. BTW, it was HIAS that directed the Southern Poverty Law Center to target me resulting in my very special award last year. It is all about attempting to silence critics of mass migration because they are working on changing America by changing the people.