HIAS, the refugee resettlement contractor formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, has redefined “chutzpah.” HIAS is suing the Trump Administration for supposedly unconstitutionally discriminating by pausing immigration from three predominantly Muslim nations. But religious discrimination, along with reckless refugee resettlement programs, built HIAS. Fortunately, President Trump can stop the argument through executive action, by determining that next year’s refugee ceiling should be zero.
Like all refugee contractors, HIAS is not so much a charity as a conduit for taxpayer money. It is paid by the US government more than $20 million a year to prepare “refugees” overseas for travel to the U.S. and then to assist them (somewhat) once they arrive. For this, HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield [Email him] receives some $359,000 annually. Only David Miliband [Email him]of the International Rescue Committee gets more ($592,000) [Updating financial data on refugee contractors, big bucks for ‘humanitarian’ work, by Ann Corcoran, Refugee Resettlement Watch, July 11, 2017].
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This is completely hypocritical. In fact, since the Refugee Act of 1980, most of HIAS’s “clients” have arrived as a result of a religious test of one sort or another.
At least 400,000 refugees have been admitted to the U.S. on the basis of a religious test: the Lautenberg Amendment, an apparently unkillable relic of the Cold War. During the Soviet era under this law, Jews (as well as a figleaf of Evangelicals and certain Ukrainian Christian denominations) were required only to prove that they were members of the protected religious category. Evidentiary standards for proof of persecution were reduced to near nil.