STATEMENT — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Welcomes Arrival of 85,000th Refugee This Year

September 29, 2016

Press Contacts:
Miji Bell; 410-230-2841
Michelle Blundell; 202-478-6176

WASHINGTON, DC – Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) applauds the arrival of the 85,000th refugee to be resettled by the Obama Administration in Fiscal Year 2016. This achievement is an important milestone in addressing the global refugee crisis and comes on the heels of the Administration’s announcement to resettle 110,000 refugees in the next fiscal year.

LIRS is one of the nine national organizations that has resettled refugees this year in partnership with local organizations and congregations. In this role, we have seen firsthand how the lives of those who have come to the United States have transformed from one filled with pain and despair to one of safety and hope.

By reaching this goal and opening our arms to the refugees who will come in the next fiscal year, we are demonstrating what it means to be American. We must continue to embrace those who have already become productive members of our communities, and show compassion to those who will have the same opportunity to come to a safe place and flee danger.

“It’s important we recognize this important moment, as the 85,000th refugee arrives in the United States. The Administration’s continued commitment to resettling refugees is a critical component of the worldwide efforts to tackle the refugee crisis. We look forward to the next year and years to come as more refugees arrive and are able to rebuild their lives in a place of safety and protection,” said Linda Hartke, president and CEO of LIRS.


Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is the second largest refugee resettlement agency in the United States. It is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through more than 75 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.