STATEMENT — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Applauds Decision by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to Uphold Freeze on President Trump’s Travel Ban

June 12, 2017

Press Contacts:

Miji Bell
mbell@lirs.org; 410-230-2841

Michelle Blundell
mblundell@mrss.com; 202-478-6176

WASHINGTON, DC – Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) applauds today’s decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson’s decision to stop President Trump’s travel ban on nationals from six Muslim-majority countries, and the needless halt to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, from going into effect.

“It is heartening that once again, the courts are on the right side of justice,” said Linda Hartke, president and CEO of LIRS. “In upholding the lower court’s decision to stop President Trump’s travel and refugee ban from going into effect, we are staying true to our American values. As a country, we must remain compassionate, welcoming, and accepting toward those who are fleeing war, violence, and persecution.”

“To block refugees who are urgently seeking protection is particularly concerning. Putting refugees at increased risk, when they are faced with such grave danger, is needless and entirely avoidable. Our long history of refugee resettlement has shown that we can welcome refugees while still keeping our country safe,” Hartke added. “Refugees are assets to our communities and we must recognize that their protection and resettlement is part of our commitment as a nation. LIRS looks forward to continuing to work with our partners around the country to serve refugees at a time when ‘welcoming the stranger’ is more important than ever.”

Separate from today’s decision, the Supreme Court is currently reviewing a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to review the 4th Circuit’s ruling against the executive order and put a stay on the injunction that Judge Watson issued in March. LIRS urges the Supreme Court to uphold both the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Court’s decisions that keep in place the injunctions blocking key provisions of President Trump’s executive order from going into effect.

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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.