On Thursday, January 26th, Immigration Clinic Attorney Fellow Nicole Medved spoke at an event at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. The event, “Real Talk: Realities of Refugee Assistance and Resettlement,” was hosted by the Elliott School’s Humanitarian Action Initiative and No Lost Generation GW. Nicole, an alumna of the Elliott School, spoke alongside Olivia Issa, Program Lead at the Refugee Resettlement Initiative at the National Association of System Heads, and Manizha Azizi, Family Services Manager at Homes not Borders. More than sixty undergraduate and graduate students from across the DC-metro area attended the talk.
The talk focused on the on-the-ground realities of refugee resettlement, especially the challenges that Afghan parolees have faced since the fall of Kabul in August 2021. Nicole gave attendees an overview of the legal challenges facing people resettled in the United States, including the lack of permanency of humanitarian parole and the lack of a right to counsel in immigration proceedings. The speakers talked about their experiences supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and parolees, including ensuring that refugees had furniture in their homes, work authorization, and the ability to continue their education at colleges and universities in the United States. All three speakers highlighted the importance of professionals coming together from many different backgrounds, including law, education, and social services, to meet the multifaceted needs that refugees, asylum seekers, and parolees face.
“It was so exciting to share the work of the Immigration Clinic with such a passionate and engaged audience,” said Nicole. “Conversations like those we started last night will lead to more compassionate policies, programs, and services for refugees, asylum seekers, and parolees going forward.”
The Humanitarian Action Initiative is a research hub housed in the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. You can learn more about the Initiative’s work and events on their website.
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