Budget Deal Will Help Children and Families in Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

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STATEMENT: Budget Deal Will Help Children and Families in Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

For Immediate Release:
February 14, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT:
Danielle Bernard
dbernard@lirs.org; 410-230-2888

BALTIMORE—LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service) applauds congressional leadership for their bipartisan efforts in drafting legislation characterized by broad and smart investments in infrastructure to make our immigration system more compassionate in confronting the humanitarian crisis at the border.

“Congress has stepped up to give the American people what they’ve been asking for: a compassionate immigration system,” said Krish Vignarajah, President & CEO of LIRS. “Americans overwhelmingly oppose efforts to separate children or prevent families from seeking asylum – and today’s bipartisan agreement reflects these values.”

While there are still some aspects of the bill that we aren’t thrilled with, this bill includes $414.7 million for humanitarian aid at the border and $415 million to support individuals currently caught up in the immigration system – allocating funds for medical care, family case management, and food and clothing for migrants in detention. It also includes provisions that will expand the oversight of conditions in detention facilities by increasing inspections.

Additionally, the bill allocates $563.4 to hire new immigration judges to alleviate the asylum backlog and makes significant investments in overhauling immigration case management and preserving protections for children and families.

Amidst reports that the President may bypass Congressional authority to seize additional funding for a fifth-century border wall through an unconstitutional emergency declaration, LIRS urges the White House to leave that decision with leaders elected to represent the American people in Congress, as the Constitution requires.

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Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is one of the largest immigration and refugee resettlement agencies in the United States, and only one of two agencies that helped reunite children with parents after family separations. 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.

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