From Linda to You

Rebuilding Hope, April 2016 edition
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Mother and daughter asylum seekersWe stand for welcome for all God’s children.

We are a nation that stands for freedom, and we serve because of our faith through love and compassion.

As you can see from the first article in this newsletter, refugees who have lost everything—their homes, their belongings, perhaps even their family—face a long, difficult process to find safety and a place to call home.

That is assuming that they are among the very few considered for admission.

There are 15.1 million refugees throughout the world today. On average, refugees remain displaced from their homes for 17 years due to ongoing violence. In 2016, our government has approved only 85,000 of them to come to our shores legally over the next several years.

An additional 108,601 unaccompanied children and 108,522 families from the Northern Triangle of Central America have come seeking safety over the past two years, but instead have been incarcerated, and will likely be sent right back to the danger that made them flee their homeland in the first place.

We believe that a person’s country of origin should not matter when you are faced with violence and persecution for your beliefs.

Families that have fled horrific violence in search of refuge should not be welcomed with inhumane detention.

Together we have fought to preserve the rights of all people by asking that detention not be used for children and mothers who are fleeing violence. Eight months after a judge ruled that detaining migrant families violated their rights, these vulnerable children and mothers are still being detained.

More than 50 percent of all refugees and migrants are children. Unaccompanied children represent some of the most vulnerable people we serve.

We believe that children are best cared for by their families, which is why we make a commitment to reunify families whenever possible. Yet, we must make certain that the child’s best interests are met and that all family members or sponsors are screened. We also ensure that services or referrals, after a child is reunited with family, are provided including social services, legal services, and child advocacy.

We can only do this work with the support of faithful friends, like you. Thank you for upholding the rights of the most vulnerable and walking alongside of them as they build new lives.

I hope you will take this opportunity to join with LIRS as we walk with refugees and migrants on their long journeys.

Yours in faith,

Linda Hartke

President and Chief Executive Officer

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