Washington, DC —Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), the national organization established by Lutheran churches in the United States to serve uprooted people, welcomes Representatives Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduction of the Immigration Courts Bail Reform Act. The legislation would require the government to consider factors such as an individual’s financial situation and ties to the community when setting immigration bail. Due to a lack of protections found in the federal criminal bail system, bail amounts set in the immigration context are often set at rates unattainable by many in immigration detention. As a result, many refugees and other immigrants are ordered released on bond only to spend years in detention away from loved ones and without access to legal services because they cannot afford to pay the bond amount. Passing this legislation would bring us another step closer to the principles for which LIRS advocates: family unity, fairness and due process.
If you have any questions about this statement, please feel free to contact Joanne Kelsey, LIRS Acting Director for Advocacy at (firstname.lastname@example.org).