Naomi Steinberg, director of Refugee Council U.S.A, and Tom Jawetz, the Vice President of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, met with Students on Friday to share their perspectives on the Syrian refugee crisis and to explain how their organizations are involved in advocating for the rights of refugees. There was also space for students to share their experiences lobbying with Congress.
The Center for American Progress is an independent non partisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. They develop new policy ideas, challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter, and shape the national debate.
Refugee Council U.S.A is a coalition of U.S non-governmental organizations focused on refugee protection. Refugee Council U.S.A provides advocacy on issues affecting the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, displaced persons, victims of trafficking, and victims of torture in the United States and across the world.
These shoes in front of the Supreme Court represent the children who have walked across the U.S.-Mexico border and are waiting for the court's decision in United States vs. Texas to determine whether Obama's executive orders (DACA and DAPA) will be implemented.
"We'd like the representative to oppose the SAFE act, which lengthens the process for refugees to apply for asylum. We'd also like you to oppose the HR 4731Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act, which gives the government the power to defund certain refugee resettlement agencies" (Carolina, 7th grade)
"We'd also like people in congress to speak out against Islamophobia and bigotry against muslims and refugees…they already have a tough life fleeing terrorism and oppressive government."(Vidar, 8th grade)
Washington, D.C. - Wednesday, April 6 - 4pm KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting human rights globally, especially gender equity, religious freedom and civil rights in the United States. It pursues its mission through education, legal outreach and advocacy.
Aisha Rahman, executive director of KARAMAH and head of the organizations Family Law Division gave a brief overview of the organizations work engaging students in a case study.
She concluded by offering suggestions for how to counter some of the big misconceptions about muslims, and specifically muslim women, circulating in the media.