Quarterly Newsletter
2016 has so far been a year of political uncertainty for refugee resettlement and protection. With so much attention focused on the polarization of American values, we're grateful to our allies of all political persuasions for affirming that refugee rights can and should be an issue we address in unity.

In November, IRAP lauded the bipartisan reform of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Afghans. Since then, we've seen a federal court affirm the U.S. Government's obligation to its allies overseas. We've spoken with U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power about America's commitment to refugee resettlement. And we've witnessed over one million people sign a petition to President Obama on behalf of a young Iraqi woman seeking safety on our soil. 

Respect for refugees is a critical part of American values. Read on to learn about the progress we're making! 
Farah, a former IRAP client, and her husband, Mike. Farah was persecuted in Iraq because she ran a firm that supplied equipment to U.S. forces. In 2012, the United States granted refuge to Farah and her sons. Soon after, she met Mike. The family now lives in Washington, D.C. Photo by Doug Jackson. 
Key highlights from the past few months:
U.S. Government Responds to IRAP's Advocacy, Rethinks SIV Law 
A new interpretation of the SIV law risked disqualifying over 3,000 Afghans. After weeks of advocacy and editorials in The Washington Post and The New York Times, the government changed its position. The Times broke the news.
Federal Court Rules in Favor of Iraqi and Afghan Allies
In February, a federal court denied a motion to dismiss IRAP's lawsuit on behalf of U.S. allies. The landmark decision rejects the government's claim that it has no obligation to those whose loyalty proves life-threatening. 
Click to watch the most recent update from Aya's attorneys.
IRAP Represents Aya, Iraqi Refugee Featured on Humans of New York
IRAP took on Aya's case shortly after Humans of New York featured her story (HONY also featured IRAP twice). We have filed an appeal for her and are awaiting a decision from the Department of Homeland Security. 
IRAP Clients and Staff Meet with U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power
Several IRAP clients shared their experiences of persecution and resettlement with Ambassador Power. The Ambassador recognized the importance of IRAP's work in her remarks in a town hall in connection with the State of the Union. 
IRAP's Legal Director Speaks on NYC Bar Association Panel 
In February, the NYC Bar Association hosted Human Rights Obligations and the Refugee Crisis. IRAP's Legal Director discussed solutions alongside representatives from Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, and Human Rights First.
IRAP's UC Berkeley Chapter Attracts 60+ to Panel on Field Conditions
Over 60 people attended a February panel hosted by IRAP's UC Berkeley chapter. Students discussed the realities faced by refugees in Lebanon, where they had recently traveled with IRAP. They also published a written report.
Law Students Join IRAP Staff for Annual Middle East Trips
In January, dozens of students flew to Beirut and Amman to interview clients, meet with local NGOs, and learn more about the challenges of refugee protection in the field. We're looking forward to two more trips this month! 
IRAP Alumni Association Spotlight

With the launch of our new Alumni Association, we'll be spotlighting IRAP alumni in each quarterly newsletter. If you worked with IRAP in law school, make sure to connect with us via email so we can keep in touch!
This month, we're featuring alumna Priya Lane, who joined IRAP as a 2L at Northeastern and worked on a Special Immigrant Visa case. Priya now directs the economic justice project at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice (LCCREJ). You can read our full interview with her on our website!
IRAP in the News

The New York Times and The Washington Post recently featured IRAP in editorials critiquing the U.S. Government's problematic new interpretation of the Afghan SIV law. Media attention on the issue helped catalyze reform. 
The New York Times: An Unpaid Debt to Afghan Interpreters
The Washington Post: Don't Endanger Visas for Afghans 
IRAP Featured on Humans of New York Blog
In December, Humans of New York featured the IRAP team on its blog. "They are very good at what they do," wrote HONY's creator, Brandon Stanton. "We had a long meeting today, and everyone is very energized and optimistic."
Foreign Policy: Obstacles for Refugees in Lebanon
Foreign Policy featured commentary from IRAP in a December story about the barriers in Lebanon for those seeking resettlement in America. 
Aljazeera America: Jordan Deports Refugees
IRAP provided expert insight to Aljazeera America in December, when Jordan deported hundreds of Sudanese refugees
The National Law Journal: Students Help Refugees
The National Law Journal featured IRAP in a January piece highlighting the work law students are doing around the country to assist Syrian refugees
The Nation: US Lags on Refugee Admissions
IRAP offered expert analysis in a February article in The Nation, exploring why the trickle of Syrian refugees to America has remained so slow. 
In November, anti-refugee sentiment swept across the United States. IRAP raised its voice to remind the public that resettlement is fundamentally tied to our American values:
Copyright © 2016 International Refugee Assistance Project, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences