LIRS Applauds Time Magazine for Acknowledging “The Guardians” with Time Person of the Year Award
For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2018
BALTIMORE – Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) applauds Time Magazine’s leadership in lifting up the important work of journalists in regions of conflict, including two Reuters journalists who were arrested for their coverage of the plight of Rohingya Muslims and the resulting refugee crisis at the Myanmar border.
“Journalists like Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo, and Khashoggi dedicated their lives to lifting the veil of safety and security that separates so many Americans from the reality of foreign conflict,” said Jeanne Ellinport, Interim Vice President of External Affairs at LIRS. “Their reporting helps to inform our work as we welcome refugees fleeing unimaginable violence and oppression overseas.”
This year, despite deep cuts to the federal refugee program, LIRS has resettled 118 Rohingyan refugees, including 6 unaccompanied refugee minors – children who were orphaned by the violence in their native country of Myanmar.
“When reporters put their lives on the line to shine a light on the plight of refugee and migrant populations, Americans take note,” said Ellinport. “The U.S. has long been a beacon of hope for those seeking refuge, and it is our mission to preserve that legacy and offer welcome to those in need.”
LIRS was also moved to learn, last week, that Time Magazine had included separated families on their 2018 Person of the Year shortlist.
Earlier this year, LIRS was one of just two organizations contracted to care for the children and families impacted by the family separation crisis. Working with more than 450 parents and children, we saw firsthand the damage and heartbreak that these families endured at the hands of U.S. immigration enforcement.
Time Magazine’s acknowledgment of separated families serves as a reminder of a migrant population that continues to be dehumanized, separated, and locked in detention today.
“It is paramount that we continue to talk about these issues and that we continue to find the human connections that are sometimes obscured by our immigration system,” said Ellinport. “The courage and resilience we see in the migrants and refugees we serve is so often rooted in a belief that America, at its core, is a force of good. At LIRS, we are working hard to live up to that belief.”
Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies 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 nearly 80 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.