Jen Smyers serves as the director of policy and advocacy the for immigration and refugee program with Church World Service and has been with CWS for over ten years.
In this position, Smyers meets with national and local policy makers to advocate for improved assistance for refugees resettled in the United States and humane immigration reform that reunites families, improves the visa process, treats all workers with respect, reforms detention conditions, and provides a pathway to legal status for people living in the U.S. without documentation.
A graduate of American University with a B.A. in Law and Society, B.A. in Public Communication, and Masters in Public Policy, Smyers has worked with Border Action Network in Tucson, Arizona, and the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
She has developed and facilitated various teach-ins, trainings, sermons, scripture studies and curricula, including Immigration as a Human Rights Issue: A Biblical Perspective; Migration Stories of Your Favorite Bible Characters; Immigration Reform: A Process of Peacemaking; and Nyack College’s Certificate Course U.S. Immigration Policy in the Modern Era.
Smyers has also written numerous policy statements, pieces of legislation and articles, including Immigration and Security: Public Policy and Christian Ethics in The Review of Faith and International Affairs and Seeking God’s Law in Immigration Policies in the Christian Citizen.
In her personal life, Smyers volunteers as an English as a Second Language instructor at Foundry United Methodist Church and is active in a variety of service ventures helping homeless women in the Washington, D.C. area.
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