This past month, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) asked President Obama to increase the United States’ current commitment to help resettle only 10,000 Syrian Refugees.
AILA went further, declaring the Obama Administration should expand its protection of asylum seekers in general; Syrian or otherwise.
AILA’s Recommendations to Help Syrian Refugee Crisis
AILA and other like-minded organizations have banded together to ask President Obama to increase the allowed maximum for refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2016 to 200,000. They also ask that 100,000 of those admissions be designated solely for Syrian refugees.
Further, AILA supports a group of bipartisan House members’ effort to pass the “Protecting Religious Minorities Persecuted by ISIS Act of 2015.” H.R. 1568. This Act would provide especially vulnerable refugees with direct access to the United States Refugee Admission process and would still allow the current security measures to be enforced. AILA also strongly encourages improvements to the Department of State’s and Department of Homeland Security’s capacity to handle the increased number of security and background checks for refugees.
AILA President’s Reminder of the Already On-going Central American Refugee Crisis
While it would of course be morally reprehensible turn a blind-eye to our friends in the Middle East, it is important to note that we have been dealing with another refugee crisis for a while now.
AILA’s President, Victor Nieblas Pradis, said in a statement, ” As our nation responds to the crisis overseas, we cannot forget that thousands of mothers and children from Central America who are fleeing violence and turmoil [who] likely qualify for asylum protection under U.S. law are being treated in a callous and inhumane manner by our government.”
Mr. Nieblas Pradis continued, “Our government’s long-term detention of thousands of these families in South Texas and Pennsylvania cannot be ignored. The mass incarceration of asylum seeker is anathema to our country’s history and values [yet] it is happening right now within our borders.” Mr. Nieblas Pradis finished by declaring that the United States should offer help to anyone seeking refuge from persecution and violence regardless of where and who they have fled from. Whether they flee war (Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan) or gang violence, rape, and/or domestic violence (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador), everyone deserves a life free of persecution.