April 16, 2015 PRESS RELEASE — LIRS policy recommendations included in White House Task Force on New Americans’ submission to President Obama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Miji Bell
mbell@lirs.org, (410) 230-2841

BALTIMORE, MD – Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is pleased to be one of a number of immigration advocacy groups whose policy recommendations to the White House Task Force on New Americans were submitted to President Obama on April 14th. Last November, the President created the Task Force as part of a series of executive actions on immigration and charged it with developing “a coordinated federal strategy to better integrate new Americans into communities and support state and local efforts to do the same.”

Individuals, local officials, private sector groups and agencies, and faith-and-community-based organizations – including LIRS – were invited to submit recommendations to the Task Force for consideration. The recommendations of all the key stakeholder groups, can be viewed here.

The Task Force recommendations are grouped into four main categories: building welcoming communities; strengthening existing pathways to naturalization and promoting civic engagement; supporting skill development, fostering entrepreneurship and small business growth, and protecting new American workers; and expanding opportunities for linguistic integration and education.

Drawing on its history of service to migrants and refugees, and extensive engagement in helping to create and sustain welcoming communities, LIRS submitted recommendations that focused on immigrant integration strategies with an emphasis on civic integration, the critical importance of strong social connections, effective collaboration, and the role of the nonprofit sector. LIRS’s submission to the Task Force also included recommendations from its network of national service partners.

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