Member Statements on Cabinet Nominee Confirmation Hearings


HHS Head and UN Ambassador Nominees Could Impact Refugee Policies in US, Worldwide January 17, 2017
The Secretary of Health and Human Services is responsible for overseeing the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which puts him in charge of providing for the basic needs of refugees when they first arrive in the United States,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS VP for Policy and Advocacy. “HIAS urges senators to ask how Congressman Price will provide these services in the midst of severe funding shortfalls. We need to know that Rep. Price is committed to doing everything in his power to fight for funding and basic services for refugees and the communities across the country that welcome and support them. Read more.

The next U.S. Representative to the UN must maintain the energy and build on the progress we saw during the summits. Senators must ask how Governor Haley will ensure that the US remains the world’s leader in refugee resettlement and hold UN member countries responsible for the commitments they made to protect refugees. Read more.

HIAS Urges Senate to Pose Tough Questions at Confirmation Hearings January 6, 2017
HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, is urging senators to carefully consider how President-Elect Trump’s nominees for the next attorney general, secretary of state, and secretary of homeland security will treat refugees and immigrants before voting to confirm them. Given the importance of their positions for U.S. policy toward refugees and asylum seekers, it is essential that senators demand answers before deciding whether or not they will be able to perform these roles effectively.  “As we face the largest refugee crisis since World War II, we need leaders who will uphold America’s proud legacy of protecting and welcoming refugees and who will respect the rights of everyone in America, including refugees and immigrants,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS vice president for policy and advocacy.  Read more.

Church World Service

CWS Statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Pertaining to the Nomination of Rex W. Tillerson for Secretary of State January 6, 2017
CWS calls on the Senate and the incoming Secretary of State to affirm the importance of the refugee resettlement program, which is key to upholding our values of compassion, generosity, and welcome as we face the largest refugee crisis in recorded history. Any efforts to dismantle or curtail the U.S. refugee resettlement program are not reflective of the welcome we see in communities across the country. Refugee resettlement showcases the best virtues of the United States – community, opportunity, hard work, diversity, caring for one another, and courage to start a new life. We must carry on our nation’s proud history of hospitality and moral leadership. Let us reflect the best of our nation by leading by example so that other nations do the same and affirming our collective, moral imperative to love our neighbor, welcome the sojourner, and care for the most vulnerable among us.  Read more.

CWS Statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Pertaining to the Nomination of General John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security January 6, 2017
As we face the worst displacement crisis in recorded history, with over 65 million people forced from their homes, we call on General Kelly to recognize refugee protection and resettlement as cornerstones of U.S. global leadership that promote U.S. interests, including regional stability and global security. Read more.

CWS Statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Pertaining to the
Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General
 January 6, 2017
Senator Sessions has wrongfully argued that immigrants do not contribute to the United States — a perspective that has been widely discredited, given that immigrants are vital assets to the U.S. economy and are an important part of the U.S. business community. On numerous occasions, he has stated that refugees and immigrants are unable to integrate, and has implied that people who are not currently fluent in English have less value. As we face the worst displacement crisis in recorded history with over 65 million displaced persons including over 21 million refugees around the world, it is critical that the United States demonstrate leadership in refugee protection and resettlement. The U.S. refugee resettlement program emphasizes early self-sufficiency through employment, and most refugees are employed within their first six months of arriving to the United States. Read more.