LIRS Statement on COVID-19
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is taking the COVID-19 outbreak seriously as a global threat to all. During these trying times, we remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers we serve – and in turn, protecting the wider communities they call home. If this crisis has made anything clear, it is that we are all connected and dependent upon each other to ensure the health and well-being of our neighbors and ourselves.
LIRS provides vital services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in the majority of states across the nation. We are carefully and consistently monitoring the situation and acting in concert with our local partners and communities, public health officials, and the federal government to ensure the safety of all. Throughout this pandemic, we will continue to adhere to CDC best practices while delivering essential information, resources, and services – in English as well as our clients’ native languages. We have also taken significant steps to keep our personnel safe and operational through the implementation of organization-wide teleworking solutions.
In 1527, as the Black Death shook the very foundations of society, Martin Luther wrote a letter entitled Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague. In it, he states, “I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.” He goes on to emphasize the duty to care for the neighbor, the responsibility of government to protect and provide services to its citizens, a caution about recklessness, and the importance of science, medicine, and common sense.
For as long as the COVID-19 outbreak impacts our country and our world, LIRS will heed Luther’s call and practice the utmost caution as we continue our duty to deliver the essential services our clients depend on in order to safeguard both their economic and medical well-being. We wholeheartedly believe that we are stronger when we are united as one – and together, we will love our neighbor as we love ourselves to ensure that all of God’s children are protected at this challenging moment in history.