Yale Law students protest restrictions on Syrian refugees

Yale Law students protest restrictions on Syrian refugees
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Yale Law Students Urge Democratic Members of Congress to Oppose Harmful and Discriminatory Refugee Legislation

The Yale Law School Chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS) sent a letter today (Monday Nov. 23, 2015) imploring House Democrats to publicly change their position on HR 4038 and urge Senate Democrats to oppose this legislation with their voices and their votes.

HR 4038, entitled the so-called “American SAFE Act,” passed the House with the support of 47 Democrats. This legislation would effectively stop the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugee families to our country.

“We as an organization took action to decry the actions of House Democrats because it goes against our principles as progressives,” said Conchita Cruz, ACS at Yale Law School Chapter Co-President. “Many Yale Law students know from working with Iraqi and Syrian refugee clients that the screening measures in place are already extensive and time-intensive and that any additional layers of bureaucracy will only endanger the lives of refugees fleeing violence by grinding the settlement process to a halt.”

Yale law school

Yale law school (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many Yale Law students are participants in the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and have aided Iraqi and Syrian refugees, including many interpreters who risked their lives to assist American armed forces. As such, ACS members at Yale are aware that there are already delays because of background checks and processing for more than 58,000 Iraqi refugees with ties to the U.S. military and for 15,200 Syrian refugees.

“Like many descendants of refugees, I believe Americans must learn from our country’s history and never again neglect those escaping terror,” said Dennis Zeveloff. “We hope that this letter will provide the public with accurate information about the current refugee crisis, and help commit representatives to defending our nation’s role as a refuge for the vulnerable.”
“We hope that those Democrats who have voted for or support HR 4038 publicly change their position and come out in support of Iraqi and Syrian refugee families,” said Zachary Manfredi, ACS at Yale Law School Chapter Co-President. “It is critical that the Senate send a powerful message to the rest of the world that we as Americans will not give in to reactionary political propaganda.”

ACS at Yale Law School sent this letter to the following House Democrats urging them to publicly change their position on HR 4038:

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Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
John Carney (DE-AL)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Janice Hahn (CA-44)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Steve Israel (NY-03)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Ron Kind (WI-03)
Annie Kuster (NH-02)
Jim Langevin (RI-02)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Dave Loebsack (IA-02)
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Donald Norcross (NJ-01)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
David Scott (GA-13)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

The American Constitution Society is Yale Law School’s largest student group, and a chapter of the national progressive legal organization. We encourage ACS students across the country to voice their support for refugees by calling their Members of Congress and tweet their support by using the hashtages #AmericaWelcomes, #RefugeesWelcome.

Please find ACS at Yale’s letter to Members of Congress regarding HR 4038 here.

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