Pittsfield Refugee Resettlement Update

PITTSFIELD REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT UPDATE

Jewish Family Service, Springfield

 As you all know, since Pittsfield was approved as a sub satellite resettlement office for JWS, the President issued two executive orders suspending resettlement efforts for 120 days (from the time of the signing) and reducing the number allowed into the country from 110,000 to 50,000.

Fortunately, on March 15, a federal judge in Hawaii once again ruled against the Trump administration’s revised order.  The new ruling allows the refugee resettlement program to continue to offer shelter to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.  The question still remains whether the current ceiling of 50,000 people allowed into the country will remain in effect.

We have been working closely with HIAS and have been attending bi-weekly conference calls regarding updates and expectations.

What does this mean for Pittsfield? It means that it is not likely that the community will welcome refugees before the start of the new federal fiscal year, October 1.  However, we are hopeful that by fall we will be resettling new families in the Berkshires!

Together we will continue to fight for keeping our country’s doors open.

Maxine J. Stein, MSW      President and CEO

Deidre Griffin, JD     New American Program Director