2017-12-20 / World News

HIAS cutting back due to lower refugee numbers

HIAS, the Jewish refugee aid agency, will be closing resettlement programs in several cities due to a sharp reduction in the total number of refugees let into the country in the next fiscal year.

The group’s Chicago chapter announced in an email that it would be shuttering its refugee resettlement program. The same day, HIAS President Mark Hetfield told JTA that programs in other cities would likely follow, though nothing has been finalized. HIAS runs refugee resettlement programs in 21 large to midsize metropolitan areas.

“It is true that smaller resettlement sites are being closed, and we’re in negotiations with the State Department right now as to which those will be,” he said. “We want to keep open as many sites as we can. Chicago has a lot of resettlement agencies there, and that was a smaller site.”

HIAS is one of nine national refugee resettlement groups, and helps find homes for thousands of refugees per year. But that effort will be reduced with the United States admitting no more than 45,000 refugees in the 2018 fiscal year that began in September. ” (JTA)

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