Eisenhower Institute hosts panel on refugee policy
By Ben Pontz, Event Coverage Director
The Eisenhower Institute hosted its second panel of the week on Thursday, November 3, in a forum produced by its Undergraduate Fellows on refugee policy around the world and specifically in the United States. Each year the Undergraduate Fellows, supervised by Professor Shirley Warshaw, study a different public policy issue; this year’s issue is refugees. Earlier in the fall, the fellows traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to study refugee policy there.
As for Thursday’s program, three panelists spoke “off the record” to ensure maximum candor throughout the discussion. The panelists were:
Jedidah Hussey, the Director of the Arlington Asylum Office, a program of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through the Department of Homeland Security. Hussey spoke broadly about the various types of refugees and ways they enter the United States as well as the screening process.
James Simpson, an investigative journalist, author and former government official who currently writes for various conservative media outlets including Breitbart and The Washington Times and the author of a book entitled The Red-Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration, and the Agenda To Erase America. Simpson shared results of his research and conversations that he has had with local officials across the country in his advocacy for a moratorium on refugee placement in the United States.
Bill Frelick, the Director of Refugee Rights for Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization watchdog for instances of human rights violations around the world. Frelick shared insights from his experiences traveling the world to speak to refugees and hearing testimonies that are, in many cases, disturbing. He also sought to counter the notion that the refugee resettlement process is likely to harbor terrorists.
Moderated by Undergraduate Fellows Gregory Dachille ’17 and Lynn Hatcher ’17, the panel lasted 90 minutes; many audience questions went unanswered due to a lack of time. More than 100 students filled CUB 260 for the final fall panel of 2016 hosted by the Eisenhower Institute.