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Refugee resettlement groups respond to Supreme Court travel ban decision

Monday’s Supreme Court Decision to reinstate parts of President Trump’s travel ban has refugee resettlement groups wondering how it will affect refugees in the pipeline to resettle in the U.S.

The court said the ban wouldn’t bar entry for anyone with a bona fide relationship with a U.S. person or entity, and refugee resettlement groups hope that means it won’t bar refugees.

National refugee resettlement group HIAS says because of the nature of their work, all refugees coming to the U.S. have a strong relationship with resettlement agencies by default.

HIAS Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Melanie Nezer says they work closely together throughout the lengthy process that involves security and health screenings.


“So throughout the process, a refugee is deeply linked with the U.S. government and U.S. organizations that are involved in the process," Nezer said. "And that starts years before they ever get here.”

HIAS works with Jewish Family Services of Delaware to resettle refugees in the First State. So far this year, 20 refugees have resettled in Delaware – including 7 Eritrean refugees just this month.

Nezer says her group and Jewish Family Services of Delaware should both be considered entities with bona fide relationships with incoming refugees. And if the U.S. government doesn’t agree, Nezer says they’ll be back in court.


“Refugees can’t just decide to come here," Nezer said. "Refugees are invited to come here by the U.S. government.”

HIAS filed a travel ban related lawsuit against the Trump administration earlier this year. The Fourth Circuit Court upheld their challenge last month.


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