STATEMENT – LIRS Partners Support Hundreds of Asylum Seekers Released at Bus Stations in El Paso
For Immediate Release:
December 27, 2018
BALTIMORE — This week, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) partners stepped up their efforts to help as hundreds of asylum seekers were released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at parks and bus stations in El Paso, Texas with nowhere to go.
“This is no way for us as a nation to treat families fleeing violence and persecution,” said Kay Bellor, Vice President for Programs at LIRS. “Especially at Christmas, as many of us are sitting down with loved ones to celebrate the birth of Christ and reflect on the arduous journey of Mary and Joseph as they sought a safe place to give birth to the Savior. But we are heartened by the work of our Lutheran church partners who are opening their doors to those in need.”
“All over the world, refugees are provided with basic supports while their status is reviewed by the UNHCR. The U.S. has supported this aid and should do so again here,” Bellor added.
Lutheran and other churches, in Texas and New Mexico, along with hundreds of volunteers, immediately stepped in to provide transportation to temporary shelters, as well as food, clothing, blankets, and other essential services to the recently released families. LIRS is directly aiding these efforts on all fronts including by providing ground support, coordination and monetary support.
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.