International Refugee Assistance Project et al v. Trump et al
MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction by HIAS, Inc., Allan Hakky, International Refugee Assistance Project, Jane Doe 1, John Doe 1-4, Samaneh Takaloo (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit IRAP Declaration, # 2 Exhibit HIAS Declaration, # 3 Exhibit MESA Declaration, # 4 Exhibit John Doe 1 Declaration, # 5 Exhibit John Doe 3 Declaration, # 6 Exhibit Mateab Declaration, # 7 Exhibit Jane Doe 2 Declaration, # 8 Exhibit Mohomed Declaration, # 9 Exhibit Harrison Declaration, # 10 Exhibit Hausman Declaration Pt. 1, # 11 Exhibit Hausman Declaration Pt. 2, # 12 Exhibit Hausman Declaration Pt. 3)(Jadwat, Omar)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
ASSISTANCE PROJECT, et al.,
Civil Action No.: 8:17-CV-00361-TDC
DONALD TRUMP, et al.,
DECLARATION OF MARK HETFIELD,
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF HIAS, INC.,
IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION
FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
ORDER AND/OR PRELIMINARY
INJUNCTION OF THE SECOND
DECLARATION OF MARK HETFIELD, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF HIAS, INC.
I, Mark Hetfield, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, declare as follows:
I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of HIAS, Inc., a Plaintiff in the
HIAS was founded in 1881 as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to assist Jews
fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. It is the world’s oldest—and only Jewish—
refugee resettlement agency. Today, HIAS serves refugees and persecuted people of all faiths
and nationalities around the globe. Since HIAS’s founding, the organization has helped more
than 4.5 million refugees start new lives. In 2016 alone, HIAS provided services to more than
350,000 refugees and asylum seekers globally.
HIAS has offices in twelve countries worldwide, including its headquarters in
Silver Spring, Maryland, its principal place of business, and additional domestic offices in New
York City and Washington, D.C.
HIAS’s refugee resettlement work is grounded in, and an expression of, the
organization’s sincere Jewish beliefs. The Torah, Judaism’s central and most holy text,
commands followers to welcome, love, and protect the stranger. The Jewish obligation to the
stranger is repeated in various ways throughout the Torah, more than any other teaching or
HIAS believes that this religious commandment demands concern for and
protection of persecuted people of all faiths. The Torah also teaches that the Jewish people are to
welcome, protect, and love the stranger because “we were strangers in the land of Egypt”
(Leviticus 19:34). Throughout their history, violence and persecution have made the Jewish
people a refugee people. Thus, both our history and our values lead HIAS to welcome all
refugees in need of protection. A refusal to aid persecuted people of any one faith, because of
stigma attached to that faith, violates HIAS’s deeply held religious convictions.
HIAS’s client base includes refugees and their families abroad and those located
in the United States. Hundreds of these clients hail from the six countries singled out in Section
2(c) of the March 6 Executive Order, including Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. Other
clients, who will also be affected by the 120-day ban on refugees in Section 6(a) of the Order,
hail from countries that include Iraq, Ukraine, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Afghanistan, Eritrea, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Burundi, South Sudan,
Uganda, Russia, Belarus, Burma, and El Salvador. Its overseas clients are seeking refugee
status, and do so precisely because they face a real risk of persecution at home. They remain in
precarious situations often in third countries. HIAS also provides services to individuals entering
the United States under the Special Immigrant Visa (“SIV”) program available to persons who
worked with the U.S. Armed Forces as a translator or interpreter in Iraq or Afghanistan.
HIAS is one of nine non-profit organizations, called “Resettlement Agencies,”
designated by the federal government to undertake this humanitarian work through cooperative
agreements with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Health and Human
To serve these refugees, HIAS currently holds sub-agreements with 18 local
organizations (“affiliates”) who operate and oversee 21 resettlement sites across the country. A
resettlement site is an office of one of the Resettlement Agencies; it could be either an affiliate or
a sub-office of an affiliate. There may be more than one resettlement site in a single city,
depending on how many national agencies have offices there. HIAS itself also directly operates
a resettlement site in New York City, and, before the Executive Order was signed, was on the
verge of expanding to an additional resettlement site in Westchester County, New York, which
had been approved by the Department of State.
HIAS is assigned clients via the Department of State’s allocation process, which
determines which refugee clients will be resettled by HIAS. Other clients—already residing in
the United States—connect with HIAS when they come to one of HIAS’s local affiliates to file
paperwork to initiate requests for refugee status for their relatives abroad.
HIAS’s work with the federal government occurs pursuant to several different
cooperative agreements, including a cooperative agreement with the Department of State that
provides funding for the Reception and Placement program. In Federal Fiscal Year (“FFY”)
2017, HIAS’s approved budget through this agreement was $11.4 million, including funding for
headquarters, affiliates, and direct assistance to refugees. Through headquarters staff, HIAS
interfaces with the Department of State’s contractor for refugee processing, places cases with
local affiliates, monitors the refugees’ travel to the United States and their final destination in the
United States, monitors affiliates for ongoing compliance, and works with the affiliates to ensure
effective and timely service delivery to the new arrivals. The total budget under the cooperative
agreement is approved at the beginning of the fiscal year, although the Department of State
allocates the funds in portions throughout the year, depending on the amount of funding
approved by Congress.
The largest source of funding for refugee resettlement by HIAS and its affiliates is
the funding for Reception and Placement services for new refugee arrivals. These funds are
provided by the government on a per capita basis, currently at the rate of $2,075 per refugee.
That amount includes $1,125 of direct assistance per refugee and $950 for affiliate staff support
per refugee. The funding provided by the Department of State through the Reception and
Placement program is intended to cover expenses for the refugees’ initial period of resettlement,
up to three months after arrival. With this funding, HIAS and its affiliates must find housing for
the refugees, provide them with money for rent and utilities for up to three months, and supply
them with initial food and medical care before government-funded benefits begin. In addition,
with this funding, the affiliates pay for case management services for the refugees, which include
meeting the refugees at the airport and bringing them to their new homes, providing initial safety
orientation followed by weeks of extensive cultural orientation to adjust them to life in America,
and assisting them in enrolling in ESL classes, school, employment services, and benefits
programs (including Medicare, food stamps and Supplemental Security Income for the elderly
In FFY 2016, HIAS’s cooperative agreement with the Department of State
provided that HIAS and its affiliates would resettle 3,768 refugees and SIVs in the United States.
However, as the number of refugees and SIV’s approved for admission increased, HIAS
eventually resettled 4,191 individuals that year. The Department of State, aware that it would
significantly increase capacity for refugees in FFY 2017, then requested that HIAS apply for
higher numbers of arrivals as the refugee program expanded. As a result, in its cooperative
agreement for FFY 2017, HIAS was engaged to resettle 4,794 refugees and SIVs.
The Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2017,
signed in September 2016, authorized the admission of up to 110,000 refugees. Under the March
6 Executive Order, however, that number will be drastically reduced by the 90-day and 120-day
bans in Sections 2(c) and 6(a), respectively, and Section 6(b)’s extreme reduction in refugee
admissions overall to 50,000. As a result, HIAS and its affiliates will not be able to resettle a
significant portion of planned-for arrivals. Indeed, in February, the Department of State notified
HIAS that, because of the reduction in refugee admission levels in Section 5(d) of the January 27
Executive Order, HIAS’s resettlement obligation for FFY 2017 would be reduced by 39 percent
to 2,912 refugees and SIVs. Attached hereto as Exhibits 1 and 2 are true and correct copies of
two email communications sent to HIAS staff by the Department of State, dated February 16,
2017, and February 17, 2017, respectively, outlining the changes mandated as a result of Section
5(d) of the January 27 Executive Order. That reduction in the level of refugee admissions
remains in Section 6(b) the Revised Executive Order, and thus HIAS will still experience a 39
percent reduction in planned refugee resettlement, and a reduction in funding for its program.
Because HIAS had already resettled 1,941 refugees and SIVs for this fiscal year
by the end of February, it will be permitted to resettle only 971 additional refugees and SIVs for
the remainder of the year. The financial losses to HIAS and its affiliate network—up to $2.2
million—will be crippling, especially for many of HIAS’s affiliates, which are heavily dependent
on funding that flows through HIAS. And, those losses will be hastened by the 120-day ban on
refugee admissions. On March 6, 2017, the Department of State informed HIAS that only
refugees who are already booked for travel to the United States arriving at their port of entry
through the end of March 15, 2017, i.e., before the March 6 Order’s effective date of March 16,
2017 at 12:01 am, will be permitted to enter the United States. Defendant Department of State
has indicated that no further bookings may be made. Attached hereto as Exhibit 3 is a true and
correct copy of the pertinent email communication sent to HIAS staff by the Department of
State, dated March 6, 2017. The email also informed HIAS that all DHS screening interviews
will continue to be suspended until further notice, unless exceptions are arranged on an
individual basis and that no new Interagency Checks (IAC) and Security Advisory Opinion
(SAC) security checks may be requested.
The risk that the Executive Order poses to the viability of HIAS, its affiliates, and
the vital services they provide to refugees is very real. World Relief, one of the other nine
resettlement agencies that partners with the government, has already announced that it will be
forced to lay off 140 staff members and close five of its offices due to the Executive Order. The
Executive Order will likewise significantly impede HIAS’s work for the government and the
services provided to refugees, causing irreparable harm to HIAS, its affiliates, and its clients.
HIAS itself has already been precluded from refilling key positions. HIAS has been compelled
by President Trump’s two immigration executive orders to dedicate substantial resources to
finding other sources of support for its work, and will likely find itself in the same position as
World Relief vis-à-vis layoffs if the Executive Order is allowed to be implemented. These staff
losses negatively impact the services that HIAS is able to provide to refugees.
Affiliates, who hold sub-agreements under HIAS, operate and oversee a number
of resettlement sites and are an integral part of the resettlement process; indeed, without them, it
would be nearly impossible to ensure that refugees are properly resettled and integrated into
communities. However, as a result of the financial losses stemming from the 90-day and 120day bans and the reduction in admission of refugees to 50,000, some of HIAS’s affiliates may be
forced to shut down permanently or significantly pare back their resettlement programs and sites.
Affiliates have already laid off staff in response to the Executive Order. For example, HIAS’s
affiliate in Ohio—US Together—has already laid off more than six employees at just one
resettlement site. Many of the staff who have lost their jobs or are likely to be laid off are staff
who work directly with refugee clients, and are often former refugees themselves. HIAS also
operates a direct resettlement site out of its New York office. If the Executive Order remains in
place, it is likely that reductions in funding will require HIAS to lay off employees at its New
When sites are shuttered or their capacity significantly decreased through staff
layoffs and cut resources, the local expertise and relationships—developed by affiliate staff,
often over years and years—is lost entirely or substantially diminished.
Building a new
resettlement site can take months or years of relationship-building, including cooperation with
local government and elected officials, businesses who would be potential employers, landlords,
and the refugee communities themselves.
In particular, in establishing and operating these sites, affiliates depend heavily on
volunteer networks and support within interfaith religious communities to assist in carrying out
resettlement; once sites close or are reduced in size, these volunteer networks will become
disengaged and eventually dissipate. In Wilmington, Delaware, for example, a site that opened
in FFY 2017, the Jewish Family Services office has developed a coalition of 28 organizations
and faith communities. The coalition consists of large numbers of local churches, including
Presbyterian, Mormon, and Methodist churches, as well as mosques and synagogues—all eager
to support refugees. They have, in fact, already prepared to welcome newcomers to their
communities. Building these relationships, which are key to a site’s operation, took months of
staff time and resources before the site even opened. Thus, once a resettlement program or site is
shut down or reduced in capacity, reopening or re-expanding it could take months or years, if it
is able to be done at all. And, if an influx of refugees were later allowed in, HIAS and its
affiliates would be left with a diminished ability to serve that influx of refugees all at once.
Moreover, the existence of fewer sites within HIAS’s resettlement affiliate
network limits the type of assistance refugees can receive because it results in less variety in
terms of specialization by site and ability within the network to welcome different kinds of
refugees with different vulnerabilities. For example, one of the affiliate sites with which HIAS
currently works has been specially set up to address the unique challenges faced by LGBTI
refugees. The Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay in Walnut Creek, California,
has developed a specialization in serving this population by connecting them to appropriate,
available community resources. As another example, the Jewish Family Services of Buffalo and
Erie County operates a program to serve deaf refugees, offering services otherwise unavailable
from other HIAS affiliates. And the US Together site in Toledo is managed by a Resettlement
Director who is from the Syrian community, and the site has staff with language and cultural
competency to specifically serve this population. If some of these sites are forced to close due to
funding and arrival cuts, the quality and range of specialized services that HIAS can provide to
refugees facing special challenges will be diminished.
For these reasons, and in reliance on the Department of State’s representation that
it needed HIAS to take on increased numbers of refugees, HIAS began developing a formal plan
to add new resettlement sites to its network and to expand existing sites. HIAS secured private
funding and allocated funding from HIAS’s private fundraising to support affiliate program
expansion. For example, prior to securing any public funding for new sites, HIAS gave some
affiliates grant funding of between $50,000 and $100,000 to build their capacity. These were
typically matched by local fundraising, all through private fundraising dollars.
In addition, in reliance on the Department of State’s representation that it needed
HIAS to take on increased numbers of refugees, two staff members were hired to develop new
partnerships and conduct a thorough review to identify and develop strong new resettlement
sites. This process included developing an index to measure a locality for its strength as a
potential resettlement site, including analyses of affordable housing, job growth, and
involvement in welcoming community efforts. HIAS’s staff then developed relationships with
various local organizations to gauge interest in site development over a period of several months.
The process culminated in the selection of six new sites in Wilmington, Delaware; Pittsfield,
Massachusetts; Niagara Falls, New York; Tacoma, Washington; Westchester, New York; and
Madison, Wisconsin — all of which were approved by the Department of State to host 50
refugees each. While timelines may vary, a typical site may require an initial investment of
approximately 9-12 months of effort and then additional years to strengthen the site and cultivate
additional resources and relationships, allowing the site to scale to accept greater numbers of
refugee arrivals. In addition, HIAS’s staff invests considerable time into training and coaching
employees and volunteers at new sites, which is necessary because the refugee program is
complex, involving extensive, detailed requirements.
Because of the Executive Orders’ directives to drastically cut refugee admissions,
several of these sites, which took months or even years to develop, already have suspended
operations and may be forced to close. The resources expended to identify and establish these
new sites, as well to expand several other existing sites, are not recoverable. For example, the
new site in Wilmington invested in new staff, built community and volunteer relationships, and
established the infrastructure for the new program. The program had expected to receive 50
refugees but has received only nine refugees so far, and anticipates just fourteen more. These
numbers are insufficient to justify a continuing staff, and the agency faces a loss of initial
Because of the devastating toll that the Executive Order will take on HIAS, its
affiliates, and the services they provide, the injury and harm that HIAS will suffer is irreparable,
HIAS cannot be made whole by a payment of damages at the end of this litigation.
HIAS’s clients will also suffer irreparable injury as a result of the Executive
Order. Clients already in the United States and clients who are allowed to enter will received
diminished and more limited services than would otherwise be available through HIAS and its
affiliates. Meanwhile, if the Executive Order remains in place, many clients will be denied entry
entirely or their entry will be substantially delayed, leaving them in precarious situations.
At the time that the new Executive Order was signed on March 6, 2017, there
were 61,467 approved refugees in the U.S. pipeline. This included 13,302 Somalis, 9,886 Iraqis,
7,879 Syrians, 1,666 Sudanese, 597 Iranians, and 28 Yemenis. These refugees were spread
across the nine Resettlement Agencies, including HIAS.
Specifically, HIAS has identified 1,395 clients worldwide who were allocated
through the Department of State process, have been vetted, and have been approved for refugee
status. These refugees have already been allocated and assured to one of HIAS’s resettlement
sites. Of these, 512 are nationals of one of the six banned countries. Thus, these individuals—
the overwhelming majority of whom are Muslim—will likely be ineligible for the case-by-case
exception to the 120-day ban on refugee applicants set forth in Section 6(c) of the March 6
Of the 1,395 HIAS clients worldwide who have been vetted, approved for refugee
status, and allocated and assured to a HIAS site, only 58 (including 3 refugees from the six
banned countries) have been scheduled for travel. This also includes 99 individuals who were
intended to be booked for travel, and 338 individuals who were cleared for departure but are not
yet scheduled to travel. These individuals will be prevented from travel as a direct result of the
Executive Order, leaving them in precarious situations.
Even after the 120-day suspension on refugee admissions expires, most of these
individuals will still be prevented or delayed from entering the United States, despite the fact that
they have been vetted and determined to be refugees. Under the Executive Order, the earliest
that refugee resettlement could resume would be early July 2017. This would leave Resettlement
Agencies, at most, with only two-and-a-half months before the end of the fiscal year to resettle
hundreds or thousands of refugees who were supposed to be resettled over a much longer period
of time. Refugee processing would be impacted by the 120-day ban since security checks and
processing would be suspended during that time. Because security and medical clearances have
expiration dates, it is likely that some refugees would lose their readiness for travel during the
suspension period and lengthy checks would need to be repeated. In addition, because of the
recent notice that HIAS’s resettlement commitment will be cut by 39 percent, some of these
refugees will simply not be able to enter the country in FFY 2017. Every day that these
individuals’ entry is delayed, they remain in precarious situations.
Many of HIAS’s clients abroad whose refugee status has been approved but have
yet to be scheduled for travel, including clients from the six banned countries, have family
members in the United States, also HIAS clients, who will suffer as a result of the delay in
reuniting with their family members. Some of these U.S. ties are, in fact, individuals who
petitioned, applied, or sponsored their family members for refugee status (often through HIAS).
For example, some HIAS clients have been granted refugee status through the Central American
Minors program, which permits U.S. relatives of persecuted children in Central America to
petition for these children to immigrate here. These children remain in vulnerable and dangerous
situations in their home countries, despite having been approved for refugee status, and their U.S.
family members are forced to endure continued separation from and concern for these children.
More than 1,300 refugee applications initiated through HIAS by family members
residing in the United States remain pending for HIAS clients abroad. Many include individuals
living in the six Muslim-majority countries subject to the order’s 90-day ban. The adjudication
of these applications has been or will be substantially delayed because of the Executive Orders.
In fact, since the orders were signed, consideration of most refugee applicant cases in need of
security checks have been suspended. This means that, for many refugees in the pipeline,
security checks that typically lasted 18-24 months will now be paused and restarted, potentially
adding years to their wait for stable resettlement. The delay in processing of these applications
will subject these clients to further risk of persecution and abuse in their current situations, and
their family members who petitioned for them to come to the United States will remain in limbo
as to whether they will ever be reunited.
The refugees that HIAS assists in entering the country are well-vetted by the U.S.
government. These are individuals and families who are granted refugee status because they
have fled their own countries due to persecution. These refugees are selected for third-country
resettlement precisely because they have vulnerabilities that make continued residence in first
countries of asylum or repatriation to their home countries unsafe. They are people who simply
want to live a life in safety and freedom, and, to my knowledge, none who have been assisted by
HIAS has ever been implicated in any terrorist act. I’ve set forth in the paragraphs below just a
few examples of HIAS clients who have been affected by the Executive Order and will likely be
harmed by the drastic cut in the number of refugees that will be allowed to enter the United
States this year.
Fawzia1 is a Muslim Somali refugee who fled her country in 2011 because of the
ongoing persecution. Her sister was raped and her brother was shot by armed groups in Somalia.
Her family originally fled Somalia to India where she met and married her husband, another
refugee of the civil war in Somalia. Fawzia, however, was resettled to the United States without
her husband and has not seen him for two years. She talks to him every day and finds it
extremely hard to live without him. Her husband is not yet scheduled to enter the United States.
Yessenia is a Salvadoran woman who has been living in the United States since
1999. She left her daughter behind in El Salvador and has created a new life for herself in this
country. Yessenia, who has lawful status here, expects to soon marry her U.S. citizen fiancé.
Her daughter Maria, however, has faced increased risk from the gangs in El Salvador. They
have targeted her because she has family in the United States and have been extorting her. The
gangs are threatening to kill Maria, her older brother, her grandmother (Yessenia’s mother), and
the rest of the family living in El Salvador. Children like Maria are victims of gang violence
every day in El Salvador. Maria has been approved as a refugee through the Central American
Minors program but is not yet scheduled to travel to the United States.
All refugee and family names in this affidavit have been changed to protect client identities. Declarations are on
file in HIAS’ headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Magan is an elderly refugee from Somalia who has been in the United States for
more than a year. He is waiting for his daughter and her children, his grandchildren, to join him
in the United States through the refugee program. He reports that he has not been able to sleep
since learning of the January 27 Executive Order for fear that they will be blocked from finally
finding safety in the United States. Magan’s family was scheduled to travel to the United States
in February but their flight was cancelled after the first Executive Order was signed.
worries that he will die without seeing his daughter again, and as a Muslim, he reads the Quran
and makes extra prayers for his family’s health and safety. Magan feels that he has already
suffered enough as he lost his first wife in the conflict in Somalia. He is waiting in the hope that
he will be reunited with his family.
Elias, his sister, and his sister’s children are Muslim refugees in the United States
who fled the conflict in Syria. Elias and his sister arrived here without their mother and father,
who fled Syria to Jordan four years ago when their lives were endangered. It is illegal for Elias’s
parents to work in Jordan so they are struggling financially, and heartbroken over being
separated from their children and grandchildren. They are only able to pay rent for an apartment
because Elias sends them money. Elias knows his parents have already been interviewed three
times by the UNHCR and the U.S. government but is waiting for further information.
Sunam is a lawful permanent resident, originally from Nepal, whose brother
remains in a refugee camp in Eastern Nepal. Sunam’s brother has been in the camp his entire
life. Sunam knows how difficult life is in the camp, which she left in 2014 after being resettled
in the United States. Sunam and her brother talk on the phone nearly every week. Sunam
understands that the basic rations being delivered to the refugee camp have been cut off. Sunam
does not know when they will come in again. Sunam’s brother was fully approved to enter the
United States as a refugee and was supposed to travel in June of 2016, but his travel was delayed
for medical reasons and has not been rescheduled. Sunam hopes that her brother is able to join
Eden is a lawful permanent resident who came to the United States from Eritrea in
She taught herself English, attends nursing school and has just applied for citizenship.
Eden recently had her first child, a joyful occasion that was tinged with sadness because her
mother could not be with her. Eden’s mother remains in a precarious situation in Ethiopia,
where she has been waiting to come to the United States as a refugee. She had to flee from
Eritrea after being harassed for her religion as a Pentecostal Christian. Eden’s mother has been
fully vetted and approved as a refugee, but her travel was cancelled around the time of the
Executive Order and has not been rescheduled. Eden has not seen her mother for seven years.
She worries about her getting older, with worsening health, and is desperate for her son to meet
Maung is a legal permanent resident who came to the United States three years
ago as a refugee from Burma. He now owns and operates his own sushi business. Maung is
waiting for his wife to join him in the United States. He does not remember the last time he saw
her. Maung is very worried that his wife’s refugee status will be rejected and her departure from
Malaysia will be delayed. Maung's wife's refugee status has been approved, and she was
assigned to HIAS for resettlement in the United States; however she is still waiting for travel to
Like Fawzia, Magan, and Elias, many of HIAS’s clients here in the U.S. and
abroad are Muslim. The Executive Order has taken a particular toll on them because of its antiMuslim motivation and message.
HIAS’s Muslim clients have been marginalized in their
communities as a result of the Executive Order. Clients report feeling that everyone wants to
fight with them, and describe rumors of various attacks on mosques and other Muslims. Fawzia.
for example, reports that her niece and sister, who are both in middle school, were attacked at
school. Other students harassed the girls, called them names, told them to go back where they
came from, and even pulled off their headscarves. HIAS clients report feeling isolated and
anxious about their situation and the future for their refugee relatives.
I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this 10th day of March 2017
to Hetfield Declaration
to Hetfield Declaration
to Hetfield Declaration
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