LIRS Statement on Presidential Memo Excluding Undocumented People from U.S. Census

Published On: Donate

LIRS Statement on Presidential Memorandum Excluding Undocumented People from U.S. Census

For Immediate Release: July 21, 2020

Contact: Timothy Young | tyoung@lirs.org | 443-257-6310

Washington D.C. – On July 21, President Trump issued a Memorandum which will exclude undocumented people from the United States census. Please find below a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President & CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). LIRS is one of the oldest and largest refugee resettlement agencies in the U.S.:

“This odious memorandum reaffirms what we already knew: this White House does not see immigrants as people. The Constitution explicitly directs Congress to conduct a census that counts persons–not citizens. 

By issuing this Memorandum, the Administration is once again showing its disrespect for vital members of our society who have been essential to our nation’s frontline response efforts. Does the DACA recipient treating COVID-19 patients in the ICU not count? Do the undocumented workers in the agricultural industry who are quite literally putting food on our tables not count?

The inhumanity of the Memorandum alone is astounding. But its implications for our nation—for the millions of people who won’t be accounted for in public funding for schools, hospitals, or emergency services, among others—is simply unconscionable. By design, excluding this community from the census will limit their representation in government and limit desperately needed resources at a time of unprecedented challenge. At the very least, we owe these hard-working families the dignity of being counted.

But this decision will affect communities beyond these undocumented individuals and families; it is a willful effort to provide inaccurate information and thus underresource brown and black communities that will affect all Americans, including documented citizens. If you are providing resources for 10 documented children in a classroom that also includes an equal number of undocumented students, all 20 children will suffer. Both documented and undocumented residents of the United States will be punished. This cannot be allowed to stand.”

To request an interview with Mrs. Vignarajah, please contact Tim Young at tyoung@lirs.org or 443-257-6310

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Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is one of the largest immigration and refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership working with and advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through 80 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America. 

3 thoughts on “LIRS Statement on Presidential Memo Excluding Undocumented People from U.S. Census”

  1. I think this is just for show since the way I understand it there is no citizenship question in the census so how does he plan to carry out this heinous threat?

  2. All persons who embrace the Abrahamic faiths are called to welcome the stranger and to care for one another. One of the United States most recognizable and well known symbols is the Statue of Liberty and the words of WELCOME that The New Colossus. The united States of America is was and has always been a place for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, We nust embrace ( and count) them as our own grandparents were welcomed.

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