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

Skip Navigation
Start of main content.

News // Refugee Resettlement

Virtual Townhall: Helping Immigrants Through COVID-19 and Beyond

LIRS logo

LIRS Staff

July 29, 2020

Watch our virtual townhall on-demand!

Immigration in the United States is under attack. The U.S. has never accepted fewer refugees. Unaccompanied migrant children are being expelled at the border without due process. And our newest neighbors have been left out of federal pandemic relief legislation.

But all hope is not lost. Watch LIRS’ latest Virtual Townhall, COVID and Beyond: Actions You Can Take Now to Rebuild Our Immigration System

The virtual event feature LIRS President and CEO Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, Director of Advocacy Ronnate Asirwatham, as well as Human Rights First’s Refugee Advocacy Director, Jennifer Quigley, who will share real, actionable ways you can help to restore America’s status as a global humanitarian leader.

Watch the recording below to learn how you can raise your voice and make a difference.

Thumbnail for a video entitled 'Virtual Town Hall: Actions You Can Take Now to Rebuild Our Immigration System'

Additional Resources

We received several requests from participants to make the opening prayer and presentation slides available for those who were not able to make the webinar or who simply wanted to revisit the information presented. We also wanted to take the opportunity to direct visitors to our Advocacy page, where they will be able to take the direct actions outlined in the webinar. Please see below!

Opening Prayer

Gracious God,

We come before you this day as people yearning for justice – a nation in need of healing. We know all too well that the sins of bigotry, racism, and isolationism are thriving around us, but also in us. Sins that have risen with greater measure during this time of COVID-19. Help us to push back against these forces so that love and empathy might continue to take root. Help us to heed your call to welcome the refugee and migrant in our midst with care and compassion.

Pour out your presence upon those gathered here today. Guide us to collective action in order to roll back these tides of injustice so that the seeds of abundant life might sprout forth. Be with us as we journey together in this holy work of welcome, so that your peace is made manifest across this land.


Prayer written by Kristen Opalinski as a lament and call to the work of justice in this challenging time.

Slides and Advocacy Opportunities

Click here to download the presentation slides.
Click here to access the Welcoming Refugees Toolkit and other advocacy opportunities. 


Krish O’Mara Vignarajah

President & CEO, LIRS
Krish was just a child when she and her family escaped a country on the brink of civil war and built a life in Maryland. Now she leads one of the oldest and largest refugee resettlement nonprofits in the U.S.


Ronnate Asirwatham

Director for Advocacy, LIRS
Ronnate has over 10 years’ experience lobbying and advocating on Capitol Hill and within presidential administrations on the issues of foreign policy, appropriations, and immigration.

Jennifer Quigley

Director of Refugee Advocacy, Human Rights First
Jennifer leads Human Rights First’s advocacy work to protect the rights of refugees and ensure the United States commits to refugee protection at home and abroad, including access to asylum protections and resettlement.

Donate Today

Migrants and refugees need your help now more than ever. Your donation supports vital work that helps those affected by COVID-19.

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