Washington D.C. Friday, December 18, 2015
To ensure protection and the safe return or resettlement of hundreds of thousands of persecuted and displaced Christians and other minorities from Iraq and Syria, the White House invited Mr. Mr. Joseph T. Kassab, Founder and President of Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute (ICAE) among many other grassroots communities activists to discuss and learn more of the White house Initiatives on the Iraqi and Syrian Refugee Crisis: The U.S. Refugee Admission Program (USRAP) & Domestic Resettlement and Integration.
Last Friday December 18, 2015 was a full day of advocacy activities in Washington D.C. as Mr. Kassab met with several Senior U.S. Administration officials from the following offices of:
1- The White House:
• Jeffery Prescott, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iraq, Iraq, and the Gulf State. National Security Council
• Felicia Escobar, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration Policy
• Amy Pope, Deputy Homeland Security
• John Bisognano, Associate Director of Public Engagement
• Ginette Magana, Associate Director of Public Engagement; “Stand Stronger” Citizenship Awareness Campaign
2- The US Department of State:
• Douglas Padgett, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) and office of International Religious Freedom (IRF). Bureau of Near Easter Affairs (NEA)
• Elizabeth Coble, Political Desk officer, office of Iraq Affairs. NEA
• Irving Jones, Program Officer. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)
• Meryl Dolan, Officer. DRL
• Paul Saaranen, Foreign Affairs Officer. DRL-IRF
3- The Department of Human and Health Services (HHS):Office of Refugees Resettlement (ORR):
• Kenneth Tota, Deputy Director. HHS-ORR
• Anastasia Brown, Director. Refugee Services Division. HHS-ORR
Basically our discussion and recommendations to the US officials focused on the following:
1- The plight of the persecuted Christians and other minorities,
2- Seek the support of the White House Task Force Initiative on welcoming New Americans,
2- Encourage the US Administration to admit more victims of terror and the innocent religiously persecuted refugees and how the grassroots communities can help with the process,
3- Avoid secondary migration and how to redirect the new arrivals to communities of their interest that is able to serve them to better integrate and acclimate.
To seek aid from the US Administration to provide support for the anticipated new arrivals, Dr. Zina Asmar-Salem, CEO of the San Diego-California based Chaldean and Middle Eastern Social Services (C-MSS) and CEO of the Troy-Michigan based Chaldean American Ladies of Charity (CALC) joined me in these meetings as she gave very insightful leads and information to justify the much needed support for the two irrefutable non-profit humanitarian and social services providers.
The team achieved excellent progress; ICAE Institute will maintain its relentless advocacy and community empowerment mission until it is fully accomplished.
Joseph T. Kassab, MSC, BS, GC
Founder and President