Asylum News 47

Material Support Update: Call to Action Dear Friends and Colleagues, During this season of thanksgiving and hope, we urge you to take a moment to write to the White House to ask President Bush to intervene to resolve the crisis that threatens to undermine America’s historic role as a haven for those who seek freedom from oppression. As many of you know only too well, thousands of refugees and asylum seekers are being prevented from receiving asylum, resettlement, or more permanent residence in this country under overly broad immigration definitions that punish the victims of persecution. The U.S. refugee resettlement program – a lifeline for those who flee oppression – has been devastated by the failure to resolve the crisis caused by this “material support” bar. At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security has failed to set up a process to exempt eligible refugees in the asylum process from these provisions. To read the letter just sent to President Bush by Human Rights First, please click here. Please join Human Rights First, the Refugee Council USA, its member organizations, and others around the country to urge the President to ensure that this problem is fully addressed early in the new year. And please circulate this notice broadly to others who care about refugees and asylum seekers. Together, we can make sure that thousands of Americans write to the White House this holiday season to express their concern about the fate of the thousands of refugees who have been affected by this problem. For more information on the material support bar to asylum, click here. December 3 Panel Discussion on the United States as Refuge During this holiday season, the Neuberger Museum of Art at the State University of New York in Purchase presents a panel discussion entitled “Your Huddled Masses: United States as Refuge, Then and Now,” in conjunction with the exhibition “Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America,” by Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan. The panelists include activists, advocates, and refugees, including Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection Program director Eleanor Acer, and the event will be moderated by Brian Lehrer of WNYC radio. The panel begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 3, in the PepsiCo Theater of the Performing Arts Center at SUNY–Purchase. A reception follows in the Neuberger Museum of Art. To purchase tickets, call 914-251-6125. The exhibition “Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America” will be up until January 7, 2007. For more information, go to and


Published on November 1, 2006


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