Resolution on Political Asylum Protection For Victims Of Gender Violence And Other Forms Of Persecution
Adopted by the 2005 JCPA Plenum
During many periods of our history, the American Jewish community has benefited greatly from the United States’ refugee protection policies. Millions of Jews have found safe haven in this country – including individuals displaced following the Holocaust and refugees from the former Soviet Union and other parts of the world. This positive experience has been tempered by periods of American history when the doors were shut to refugees, leading to tragedies such as the return of the St. Louis and its 900 Jewish passengers to Nazi-controlled Europe in 1939.
Informed by this history and our tradition’s teachings of the importance of welcoming the stranger (ger), redeeming the captive (piddyon shevuyim) and saving life (pikuach nefesh), our community has supported the U.S. political asylum system. Political asylum is a central component of U.S. humanitarian policy that each year provides protection for tens of thousands of individuals who have suffered persecution or have a well-founded fear of persecution based on their religion, race, nationality, political opinion, or social group. [The standard for asylee status and refugee status are the same; asylees apply for status after arriving in the United States, while refugees have applied for and been granted refugee status prior to entering the U.S.] For example, in 2003 more than 26,000 individuals were granted status as asylees, among them approximately 3,050 individuals from the former Soviet Union and Iran – the two principal sources of Jewish refugees.
12:10 PM Feb 28, 2005 -