ACT NOW: Protect Refugees from Restrictive Implementation of Admissions Bans

The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees urges that its constituents take action to oppose the Administration’s continued efforts to constrict refugee resettlement and discriminate against travelers because of their ethnicity or religion. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to partially lift injunctions against these bans and, while further litigation progresses, limit the entry of refugees, as well as travelers from Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan, to those who have a "bona fide relationship with a person or entity" in the United States. The definition of "bona fide relationship" is broad, and, MFA believes, covers virtually all refugees-in-progress. However, the Ad

Statement to Congress -- Policy Recommendations and New Harvard Report

Please see MFA's statement sent to U.S. elected officials: Honorable Members of the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives: The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), a coalition of nearly ninety faith-based and secular organizations committed to enhancing and improving United States refugee admission and resettlement, urges this Congress to: Support a Presidential determination of at least 75,000 refugees in FY ‘18 Appropriate sufficient FY ’18 funding for the Departments of Homeland Security and State and enhanced funding for the Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement Adopt recommendations of Harvard Law School’s “Fulfilling

Harvard Law School Report: “Fulfilling U.S. Commitment to Refugee Resettlement”

The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), a coalition of nearly ninety faith-based and secular organizations committed to enhancing and improving refugee admission and resettlement, applauds today’s release of “Fulfilling U.S. Commitment to Refugee Resettlement,” a comprehensive Report from Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. This Report was made possible by a grant from the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation and catalyzed by the catastrophic Syrian refugee crisis. MFA calls on both the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Administration to adopt and implement its thoughtful recommendations that are sensitive to both national security and economic interests. MFA

Update: Supreme Court Tackles "Travel Ban" Cases

Supreme Court Tackles "Travel Ban" Cases: Merits to Be Heard in October In a complicated 6-3 decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court carefully assessed the injunctions against implementation of the Administration's second Executive Order from both the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits. The Executive Order sought to bar admission from foreign nationals of six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, suspend all processing of refugees through the United States Refugee Admission Program (USRAP) for 120 days, and lower the FY17 refugee ceiling from 110,000 to 50,000. The Court concluded to hear both cases on the merits in its term commencing October 2017. In the interim: The

Statement by F. Murray Abraham for World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day: Let This Be the Last F. Murray Abraham I am the proud son of a Syrian refugee. My brothers, Pvt. Robert Abraham, Regular Army and Pvt. Jack Abraham, a U.S. Marine, also were proud of their Syrian heritage, and of the country that gave our family refuge -- the country for which they gave their lives. Yet, for all of the struggles and sacrifices of those who came before, today we face the worst humanitarian tragedy of our time -- the Syrian refugee crisis. Millions of decent, skilled, educated family people, like you and me, have fled their homes with nothing; and in today’s environment of fear, xenophobia and Islamophobia, they are almost without hope. Because of my backgro

Take Action: World Refugee Day 2017 Campaigns

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 20 is World Refugee Day. To emphasize this important day, MFA is part of an online letter writing campaign focused on Capitol Hill to remind legislators that the US refugee-vetting program is the most thorough of all US immigration programs and involves eight federal agencies, separate background checks, four fingerprint and biometric checks and three in-person interviews. In 2016, the US admitted 85,000 refugees and asylum seekers. The US should be resettling at least 75,000 refugees in 2018 and there should be stable funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The following are some links to assist you in joining in this effort. We hope you’ll take a few m

MFA Founder Georgette Bennett's Op-Ed in NYT: We Should Keep Our Word on Refugees

Click here to view the op-ed in the New York Times. We Should Keep Our Word on Refugees By GEORGETTE F. BENNETT JUNE 15, 2017 Syrian refugees arriving in Chicago in February. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images President Trump’s “travel ban” has drawn much scrutiny for its attempt to prohibit citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. But the executive order — which this week was struck down by a second federal court and seems headed to the Supreme Court this summer — has another important part: a reduction, by more than half, of refugee admissions, to 50,000 from 110,000. This provision is bad for the country for security and economic reasons. But it also pote

MFA Joins 117 Organizations in Letter to House Judiciary Committee Strongly Opposing H.R. 2826

Submitted to the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on June 14, 2017 H.R. 2826, (Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act of 2017) Dear Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers: The undersigned 117 organizations strongly oppose H.R. 2826, the “Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act of 2017,” as introduced, including the amendment in the nature of substitute. This proposed legislation would dismantle the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which has been a critical humanitarian and diplomacy tool for over three decades. With more than 65 million forcibly displaced people around the world, including well over 21.3 million registered refugees, it is cr

MFA Welcomes Ruling by Ninth Circuit on the Executive Order

MFA WELCOMES RULING BY UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT: INJUNCTION BLOCKING IMPLEMENTATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER TO CONTINUE In a unanimous decision yesterday, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court’s injunction of selected sections of the Administration’s second Executive Order, issued March 6, 2017, which would have barred the resettlement of refugees for 120 days, banned the entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, and reduced the overall number of refugee admissions for this fiscal year from 110,000 to 50,000. This is the second appeals court decision in less than a month to rule a

Stand with Refugees

As we approach World Refugee Day on June 20th, we have an opportunity to honor the contributions and gifts refugees bring to our communities each day. Right now, more than 21 million refugees have been forced from their homes, more than any other time in history. More than 5 million are Syrian. The need to live out our nation's values and welcome refugees has never been more urgent. Now is the time to take a stand to ensure our elected leaders hear our bold, collective,moral call to welcome more refugees in the United States. In the lead up to World Refugee Day, we commemorate the profound experiences and resilience of refugees around the world. Join us the week of June 12th-16th and tell

Update: Travel Ban Injunction Appealed to U.S. Supreme Court

The Administration has requested that the U.S. Supreme Court lift the current injunctions against implementation of its "travel ban" while lower courts are deciding the legality of Executive Orders promulgated this winter. Those Executive Orders sought to temporarily ban citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, suspend the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), and lower the ceiling from 110,000 to 50,000 refugees in FY2017. Most recently, by a 10-3 margin, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court decision, resoundingly declaring the Executive Orders as "speak[ing] with vague words of national security, but in context, drip[ping] with religious intolerance,

Imam Zaza's Reflection on Ramadan

As proscribed by Islamic tradition, the Holy month of Ramadan is a 30 day period of fasting from sunrise to sunset. This month is a reminder of our humanity and how important it is to remember to give Zakaat (charity) if you are able and to take care of those who do not have the proper means. We are a community that is the most important message during Ramadan to instill togetherness. Rahma Relief Foundation is a non profit humanitarian organization dedicated to serving individuals who are in dire need. Our assistance is in various forms however this Holy month of Ramadan is unique. Throughout Ramadan we are sponsoring iftar dinners at a local mosque as well as distributing Ramadan Food Pack

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