STATEMENT – Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Vehemently Opposes Funding for a U.S.-Mexico Border Wall

For Immediate Release:
July 31, 2017

MEDIA 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) vehemently opposes the proposed $1.6 billion in funding for the construction of border fencing, which is part of the fiscal year 2018 appropriations legislation currently under consideration by the U.S. Congress. “At a time when we should be building bridges, promoting cooperation, and investing in our communities, funding for a border wall does none of that. As men and women of faith, we can think of numerous other ways to empower American communities, make them safer, and ensure the well-being of our people with the $1.6 billion proposed for border fencing,” said Linda Hartke, president and CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

“We urge members of Congress to act in a sensible and fiscally responsible way by refusing to make this ‘down payment’ on the Administration’s unnecessary and dubious proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Throwing billions of dollars at government contractors to begin to build part of a border wall fails to fulfill American values, fails to truly keep us any safer, and fails the refugees fleeing for their lives who seek legal entry and protection at our ports of entry and border patrol stations,” continued Hartke.

“If anything, the proposed wall is a barrier to economic development, separates families, and will ultimately end up feeding the very same underground criminal networks that it falsely claims to tackle by placing migrant women and children at greater risk and driving up the price that desperate families are willing to pay for the chance of safety and a future for their children. As Christians, we know that Jesus was willing to invest in people that others would have dismissed. We should have the courage to do the same.”

LIRS will continue to advocate for policies that welcome, not refuse, migrants and refugees who need safety and protection.

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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.