As Lutherans, we are proud to stand with our partner, Lutheran
Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), in
supporting a strong U.S. refugee resettlement program. Please take a moment to read the following message from
Javier Cuevas, LIRS Director for Advocacy, and learn how you can take action today.
For more information on LIRS' efforts to support
refugees, visit LIRS.org. To
learn more about how the ELCA accompanies Central American refugees, visit ELCA.org/AMMPARO.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by
doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
This week, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a
decision that will severely affect Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s
(LIRS) ability to conduct the lifesaving work of providing safety and
protection for the most vulnerable refugees, regardless of their nationality or
religion. While disappointed, LIRS is more committed than ever to our
fundamental mission, rooted in faith, of the work we do each day: helping those
in need find safety, welcome, and a new chance at life.
But to continue in this work - we need your help.
What is the meaning of this ruling?
The Court’s ruling narrows the scope of the lower courts
injunctions, and will mean individuals whom the U.S. has historically offered
protection through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) may be denied
that protection at least for now - despite their having been thoroughly vetted
by top security and intelligence agencies, and having a community willing to
offer them safety and a new chance at life.
While the Court’s decision will allow some refugees to
continue to arrive there are countless others who will be needlessly denied
access to the USRAP. This decision could affect our ability to protect refugees
fleeing religious persecution, survivors of war with severe medical cases, unaccompanied
refugee children who lost their family due to violence or war, torture
survivors, and countless others who will be left waiting, denied protection
simply because they lack a “bona fide” tie to the United States.
As we know too well, our world is faced with the worst
displacement crisis in recorded history with nearly 22.5 million refugees, over
half of whom are children. With such need, what can we do?
Our request is simple. We ask that you stand with refugees
during their most urgent moment, and call on Congress and the Administration to
do more. And, we ask that you to help us share the amazing stories of courage,
love for family, and redemption that characterize the journeys of so many
As our President and CEO, Linda Hartke said, “While today’s
decision may make it harder for us to protect those who need our assistance the
most, our call to live out our faith through our vocation is undeterred.”
We are humbled and honored to have your support and ask that
you continue to stand with us in this fight. We could not do it without you.
Javier S. Cuebas
Director for Advocacy
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
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