STATEMENT: LIRS Chooses Greatness, Not Fear. The President Should Do the Same.
For Immediate Release:
February 5, 2019
Washington, D.C.—Minutes ago, during his State of the Union address, President Trump called for the deployment of an additional 3,750 troops to our southern border. In his justification, he reinforced a number of misconceptions and misinformation about the people fleeing to our country for safety.
LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service) has been actively working with migrants at our southern border and has witnessed first-hand the detrimental impacts the administration’s haphazard policies have had on families seeking safety in the United States.
“The only border crisis is one the administration concocted—one that separates families and makes it more difficult for those with a credible fear to claim asylum,” said Bp. Michael Rinehart, LIRS Board Chair. “Children are dying out there. Families desperately seeking protection in the U.S. are being turned away or told to wait.”
The President’s State of the Union Address relied heavily on misleading statistics designed to fuel fear and anger toward immigrants, and to garner support for a border wall. While the President claimed our southern border was in a dangerous and lawless state, the data paints a different picture—22 of the 23 counties on our southern border are safer than similar counties nationwide.
Alongside the vast majority of American people, LIRS supports improving border security. A wall will not accomplish this goal, and it will compromise our moral leadership and humanitarian values.
“Tonight, the President called for us to choose greatness,” continued Bp. Rinehart. “And we do choose greatness. A great country welcomes refugees. A great country provides asylum. A great country is built on the love and commitment of immigrants. In the President’s own words, immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. In the face of fear-mongering, LIRS will continue to stand by our faith and offer protection and welcome to those seeking refuge on our shores and at our borders.”
LIRS urges Congress to find bipartisan solutions that improve safety at our border while maintaining the integrity of our American values.
Founded in 1939, LIRS (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 more than 75 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.