Nov. 14, 2013 NEWS RELEASE — LIRS Urges Congress to Seize Historic Opportunity for Immigration Reform

For Immediate Release      

Press Contact: Jon Pattee
(202) 591-5778, jpattee@lirs.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. Nov. 14, 2013 — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) today urged Congress to take advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to achieve fair and compassionate immigration reform.

“Our country, communities, and congregations need an immigration system that works for migrants, refugees, and America,” said Brittney Nystrom, LIRS Director for Advocacy. “We call on Congress to enact compassionate and just immigration laws aligned with our five principles for reform: an earned opportunity for the undocumented to attain citizenship, just and humane enforcement, uniting migrant and refugee families, protecting those fleeing persecution, and safeguarding the rights of U.S. citizen and migrant workers.”

“We will continue to let our elected leaders know that people of faith stand for fair and compassionate immigration reform,” said Nystrom.

At a press conference on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner said that he is unwilling to go to conference with the U.S. Senate on S.744, a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the upper chamber earlier this year.

“Members of the House of Representatives should be actively seeking to create an immigration system that is rooted in justice and a recognition that all persons have dignity, said Nystrom. “This is not only the moral response to our antiquated and inadequate immigration laws, it is the smart and economically wise approach to strengthening our nation.”

“Our immigration laws should unite families, not tear them apart,” Nystrom added. “Congress must jump at the current opportunity to improve how we welcome, and in turn benefit from, migrants and refugees. Now is the time to build an immigration system that lives up to our national ideals of liberty and justice for all.”

LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership with and for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration, and other vulnerable populations. LIRS serves migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners nationwide. Learn more at http://lirs.org/.

LIRS has received a number of awards, including the National Leadership Award of the Vietnamese American National Gala and the Checago Bright Foundation, Inc. Outstanding Achievement Award in Community Service. LIRS’s 2012 accomplishments included welcoming 9,933 refugees, providing foster homes for 277 refugee and immigrant children, working towards the release and legal protection of 318 survivors of torture in detention, and reuniting 324 migrant children with family in the United States.