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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Rep. Bass Statement On Israeli Agreement with the U.N. Refugee Agency Regarding Immigrant Relocation

April 2, 2018
Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) issued the following statement regarding the new agreement with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to relocate thousands of African migrants.

“I am very relieved and excited by the announcement that Israel reached an agreement with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to facilitate the resettling of African migrants. The plan would resettle asylum seekers to Western countries and within Israel rather than simply deporting those who sought refuge because of serious insecurity in their own countries.  
 
“This arrangement is certainly a positive development for the thousands of migrants whose lives were at stake. Had the earlier policy of deportation been implemented, which involved sending migrants to third-party African countries or forced detainment within Israel, African asylum seekers would have been at greater risk of kidnapping, torture, and sexual violence.
 
“This plan came in the wake of protests by tens of thousands of Israeli citizens, prominent Jewish leaders, including hundreds of academics, authors, artists rabbis and international outcry that noted that mass deportation does not align with Jewish values and teachings.  I urge Prime Minster Netanyahu to continue with the plan made in partnership with UNHCR.”