From Linda To You

Rebuilding Hope, December 2015 edition
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Please Stand for Welcome for Syrian Refugees!

Please Stand for Welcome with Syrian Refugees!

On the nightly news, pundits and politicians spread fear of our Muslim neighbors. I’m horrified by this intolerance, horrified by the hateful language used to describe traumatized and innocent children.

My faith prevails, just as Barbara’s does. I refuse to live in fear. And I know that our government has a screening process in place that is smart and effective. We need not choose between upholding our principles and living in safety.

The United States will resettle 85,000 refugees, including 10,000 from Syria, in 2016 and LIRS is ready to do our part with your support. Refugees like the Al Zoubi family resettled in Michigan are vetted more intensively than any other person coming to the United States.

All refugees must pass through a rigorous 13-step security screening process aimed at ensuring that they do not pose a security risk. On average, the vetting process can take 18-24 months. You can read the details of the screening process here.

The robust and multi-layered series of security checks, including biometrics, medical screenings, interagency intelligence sharing, and in-person interviews with officials from the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, are extraordinary tools — and they are effective.

Since 9/11, our country has accepted over one and half million people seeking refuge — not one of them has committed a single act of terror in the United States.

We cannot stop our commitment to offer welcome to people fleeing persecution, torture, and terror. Currently, more than 5 million Syrian refugees have registered in the countries neighboring Syria. Seventy-six percent are women and children. Many need protection offered through resettlement.

That is why your support of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is so important.

Please help us continue our efforts to assist those who are allowed to come to the United States and rebuild their lives.


Linda Hartke

President and Chief Executive Officer


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