LIRS Responds to Crisis at the Border

Crisis At The BorderLIRS is working diligently with government and service partners to care for Central American children and families fleeing to the US for refuge. The issue is not a new one. LIRS has been working with unaccompanied children and families seeking refuge for decades. We’ve observed a marked increase in recent years and advocated for improved safeguards and increased capacity to care for those impacted.

What is new is the unprecedented influx and controversy about our humanitarian response as a nation. More than 50,000 children have arrived alone so far this year. Almost 40,000 women and children have arrived as families. All have endured an incredibly dangerous journey to escape violence and despair caused by failed states in Central America. Current efforts to expedite their deportation place their need for humanitarian relief in jeopardy.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is playing a national advocacy role as well as a service role during this emergency. LIRS provides services to unaccompanied migrant children that uphold their best interests and recognize their vulnerabilities to exploitation and abuse. The services include providing short-term transitional foster care while children are assessed for their next safe destination which may include: being reunited with family in the United States, being returned to their home country, or being placed in long-term foster care while they purse legal relief. LIRS, through our network of partners, also assists the families who are trying to be reunited with their children.

Get Information

FAQ Children and Families Seeking Refugee

Backgrounder on Unaccompanied Children with policy recommendations

Information on Critical Protections for Children Under Current U.S. Law

LIRS Advocacy Statements

Report on Forced Migration of Unaccompanied Children

Report on Family Detention

Report on Alternatives to Detention

Border Crisis Mythbuster

Get Involved

For more information, contact Matt Herzberg mherzberg@lirs.org or call 877-291-1061

For media inquiries, contact Miji Bell at mbell@lirs.org.

Local Organizations in Action

  • 7-22 Sacred Heart Church, McAllen, TX – “The McAllen Immigrant Welcoming Center at Sacred Heart Parish is very short on volunteers at the moment and there have been lots of families arriving. Please stop by and lend a hand. All you need to volunteer is a picture ID and a heart of service.”
  • 7/16 Donation requests in San Diego.
  • Daily updates at southtexasrefugees.org
  • Know others who are active, let us know!