Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society at it again: this time lobbying for lawyers for the “children”

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) is one of nine major federal refugee resettlement contractors (aka lobbyists) which live off of your tax dollars.***

Mark Hetfield is the CEO of HIAS. http://www.hias.org/leadership/mark-hetfield

They have been busy, busy, busy lobbying for everything from amnesty (S. 744, Gang of Eight bill), to more Syrian (mostly Muslim) refugees for America, for an expansion of the refugee program and now for more bucks for the Unaccompanied Alien Children.

This is from their latest Action alert:

When Congress returns to Washington next week it must vote to fund the government for the current fiscal year. Decisions will be made about funding immigration judges and lawyers, detention facilities, and whether or not to keep important protections in place for children seeking asylum.

Join us in urging Congress to ensure that children and others who are running for their lives are given a fair chance to seek asylum in the United States.

And, for the convenience of their supporters they even provide language for their appeal.  Note they are pushing for the “children” to be granted asylum (they would then be “refugees” and get all the goodies available to them as full-blown refugees).

Subject line:

Central American Children Must Be Allowed to Seek Asylum


I support fair and humane treatment of Central American migrants who have sought refuge in the United States. Rampant violence–much of it aimed at women and children–has led thousands of people to flee Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador in the past two years. Most of the unaccompanied children arriving in the U.S. have fled violence, sexual abuse, forced gang recruitment, and other forms of exploitation and should be eligible for asylum or other relief in the U.S.

As a global humanitarian leader, the United States must respect the rights of those who seek asylum. However, under U.S. law, asylum seekers–including children–are not eligible for court appointed lawyers. This means that many children must navigate the complex immigration system alone and must represent themselves in court, and many are jailed while doing so.

As you consider the bill to fund the government for the current fiscal year, I urge you to ensure that there is sufficient funding for immigration courts to process cases efficiently and for lawyers to represent all children seeking asylum. I urge you to fund alternatives to detention rather than facilities that will jail those who seek safety in the United States. Finally, I urge you to keep in place important existing legal protections for children seeking asylum.

Throughout our history, America has been defined by our generosity toward those who seek a safe haven from violence, oppression, and persecution. I urge you to show leadership in ensuring that children and others who are running for their lives are given a fair chance to seek safe haven in the United States.

***Check out HIAS, Inc.’s Form 990 (the most recent one available).  They had a total revenue of $25 million and $15 million came from you as government grants (in rounded numbers) Hetfield made $186,000  that year, but out-going President Gideon Aronoff was pulling down a salary in excess of $300,000 for a partial year.  Maybe Aronoff could take a few of the ‘persecuted’ children into his home?

See our complete archive on ‘Unaccompanied minors’ by clicking here.

Human rights court: Swiss cannot return Afghan family to Italy

Invasion of Europe continues….

European Court of Human Rights decision throws EU law out the window as far as I can tell! http://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home

The European Union has a long-standing policy that asylum-seekers must be processed in the first country in which they arrive (and governments can send those back which go ‘asylum shopping’ and sneak into other countries), however, here the European Court of Human Rights basically throws the policy out the window.

Looks like it opens the door for an asylum-shopping spree.

Switzerland already has other large costly migrant families they would surely like to send back.

From the Times of Malta:

The Advice on Individual Rights in Europe, European Council on Refugees and Exiles and Amnesty International today welcomed a European Court of Human Rights’ judgement preventing the return of an asylum seeking family to Italy after making their way to Switzerland.

The organisations had intervened jointly with the assistance of lawyers from across Europe in the case of the Tarakhel family v Switzerland.

The Tarakhel family, an Afghan family with young children, made their way to Switzerland from Italy and claimed asylum there. The European Court of Human Rights held that returning the family to Italy without guarantees that they would benefit from appropriate conditions would violate human rights as enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.

The Court ruled that returning the family to Italy would breach the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment, if this were done without Switzerland having first obtained specific individual guarantees that the Italian authorities would take charge of the applicants in a manner adapted to the age of the children and that the family would be kept together.

The ECHR reiterated that before returning people under the Dublin Regulation, States had to obtain individual guarantees that the fundamental rights of asylum seekers would be respected. The Court ruled that safety in another European member state could not be assumed.

Looks like it throws out the whole Dublin Regulation to me.  But, of course the countries on the borders of Europe—Italy, Malta, Greece and Bulgaria—all must be cheering:  let’s just move them all on to another country!

See our complete ‘Invasion of Europe’ archive here.