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Ben Stiller pleads case for Syrian refugees on Capitol Hill

Ben Stiller said Wednesday that he couldn’t “just keep watching the news” about refugees in Syria, and he hopes lawmakers will feel the need to get more involved as well.

“It’s great to be here in person,” Stiller, who was named global goodwill ambassador to the United Nations’s Nations High Commission for Refugees (NHCR) last year, said at the top of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

“I watch you all on television all the time,” he quipped. “You all look much taller in person.”

{mosads}Stiller delivered congressional testimony on TV just last month — as part of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, playing President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen.

After his initial jests, the 53-year-old “Zoolander” funnyman then got serious, saying he was there to discuss the needs of Syrian refugees in their host communities.

“In 2016, deciding that I didn’t want to just keep watching the news of the conflict, but that I wanted to do something, I called NHCR,” Stiller said. “Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to meet Syrian refugees in Jordan, in Berlin, and recently in Lebanon.”

“In many parts of the world, the term refugee has unfortunately become politicized, despite the fact that refugees are real people with real stories,” the actor continued.

“I try to imagine how I would feel if caught in the middle of conflict and unable to protect my children …  for me, it’s not something I want to think about,” the dad of two said. “If any of us were to take a moment to really consider this, we’d have a tiny sense of what life was like for millions of people around the world.”

“They don’t want to be dependent on aid,” Stiller said of refugees.

“We therefore need to provide the host countries with long-term structural support,” Stiller testified. “We need to help them ensure that their health services, education systems and livelihood opportunities are available to refugees and also that the needs of their own citizens are addressed so that both groups are able to thrive.”

Tags Donald Trump Michael Cohen refugees Refugees of the Syrian Civil War Senate Foreign Relations Committee
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