June 14, 2011 LETTER — LIRS Commends the Baltimore City Council for Passing a Resolution Calling for the Suspension of Secure Communities

Press Contact: Fabio Lomelino, Assistant Director for Media Relations
410-230-2721, lirspress@lirs.org

June 14, 2011

City Council President Bernard C. Young
Office of the City Council President
100 N. Holliday Street, Suite 400
Baltimore, MD 21202

Dear Mr. Young,

On behalf of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), the national organization established by Lutheran churches in the United States to serve uprooted people with headquarters in Baltimore, I would like to thank you for your leadership in securing the passage of a resolution that calls for the suspension of Secure Communities.

The federal government has promoted Securities Communities program as a way to ensure public safety by transferring dangerous and convicted migrants who were in local or state custody to federal immigration jails. However, government data proves that the program was casting an overly broad net. Nearly half of the migrants detained by Secure Communities have not committed crimes or are not dangerous, including the detention of domestic violence victims.

As an organization dedicated to welcoming newcomers to the United States, LIRS shares your concerns regarding the Secure Communities program. We remain committed to advocating for the fair and humane treatment of all migrants, and we thank you again for your leadership. We hope it will inspire other communities to join the effort to halt its expansion and compel the federal government to redesign the program.

Yours in faith,

Linda Hartke
President & CEO
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service