July 12, 2011 LETTER — LIRS Supports Introduction of the Torture Victims Relief and Reauthorization Act of 2011

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

July 12, 2011

The Honorable Chris Smith
U.S House of Representatives
2373 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C 20515

Dear Representative Smith:

On behalf of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), thank you for introducing H.R. 2404, the Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act (TVRA) of 2011. LIRS is the national organization established by Lutheran churches in the United States to serve uprooted people and is proud to coordinate a national network of service partners, including Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, to help torture survivors endure the challenges of immigration detention. We welcome your leadership to provide greater protections and services for torture survivors both overseas and in the United States.

As you know many migrants seeking protection from persecution in the United States are imprisoned, making it difficult for them to pursue their legal claim and receive assistance. The TVRA would ensure that torture survivors continue to receive the services they desperately need to help them rebuild their lives.

LIRS applauds your work on this important topic and looks forward to working with you to build support for the bill. Please feel free to contact Eric B. Sigmon, LIRS Director for Advocacy, at (202) 626-7943 or via email at esigmon@lirs.org with any additional questions.

Yours in faith,

Linda Hartke
President and CEO
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service