The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Start of main content.

Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Presidential Veto Undermines Constitutional Balance of Powers, Will of the People

LIRS logo

LIRS Staff

March 15, 2019

Media Contact: Danielle Bernard | | 410-230-2888

BALTIMORE, MD — Today’s veto circumvents Congressional authority after Congress passed a bi-partisan spending bill in February with little funding for the wall.

“The message is crystal clear: Congress is not comfortable funding the border wall with American taxpayers’ dollars. A militarized response to a humanitarian crisis is just not what Congress supports.” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service). “We strongly believe a concrete structure will not offer the solutions that we need to fix our immigration system.”

Having worked closely with local partners and migrants along the border, LIRS knows firsthand the desperation that is driving individuals to seek asylum in the United States.

“If we build a wall, people will find a way to go over, under, through, and around,” said Vignarajah. “Because for many of these individuals and families, life in the U.S. is the only chance of survival.”

Meanwhile, the focus on building a wall has exacerbated the neglect of the infrastructure needed to support basic immigration processes. And at current levels of immigration, the need is spilling over to create an unwieldy and precarious situation at our border.

“All we can do is continue to advocate for practical, compassionate immigration reform,” said Vignarajah. “With the latest spending bill, Congress proved that they could deliver bi-partisan solutions that addressed the humanitarian crisis at the border while shoring up security measures. As long as the President lets Congress do their job, there is hope that we can make some progress at the border. But if he continues to undermine their authority through use of executive power, we may have a long fight ahead of us.”

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.

The Latest

  • Press Release · Immigration and Asylum

    November 29, 2023

    LIRS Opposes Congressional Efforts to End Asylum Protections in Budget Negotiations

    As a bipartisan group of Senators continue negotiations on President Biden’s $106 billion funding request, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service urges lawmakers to safeguard critical asylum protections

    Read More
  • Press Release · Empowering Refugees

    November 20, 2023

    Overcoming Poverty and Raising Wages: “New American Cities” Workforce Development Program

    LIRS and Yoga Alliance will establish a pilot program that will incorporate yoga to help refugees and immigrants heal from the emotional trauma they experienced on their journeys to the United States.

    Read More
  • News · Immigration and Asylum

    November 10, 2023

    Unsung Heroes: Immigrants in the U.S. Military

    An estimated 700,000 foreign-born veterans call this country home, while approximately 45,000 immigrants are currently defending our freedoms as members of the armed forces.

    Read More
  • Press Release · Empowering Refugees

    November 9, 2023

    LIRS Partners with Yoga Alliance to Develop Innovative Mental Health Programming

    LIRS and Yoga Alliance will establish a pilot program that will incorporate yoga to help refugees and immigrants heal from the emotional trauma they experienced on their journeys to the United States.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    November 2, 2023

    LIRS Urges Pakistan to Halt Afghan Deportation Campaign

    Nearly 120,000 unaccompanied migrant children entered the U.S. government's shelter system in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. LIRS stresses the need for more robust protections, additional resources for post-release services, and access to legal representation

    Read More