World Refugee Day: LIRS Leaders Climb Capitol Hill to Advocate for Strong U.S. Resettlement Program

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WRD-2013-FB-GraphicI’m proud that over 20 former refugees are marking today, World Refugee Day, by visiting Capitol Hill to call for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a robust U.S. refugee resettlement program.

They’re carrying the urgent message that U.S. lawmakers should support reform legislation with better protections for refugees and other vulnerable people fleeing persecution.

These visits to congressional offices are part of events we’re sponsoring to mark this incredibly important worldwide day of recognition. Another key happening is our Walk of Courage Award Dinner.

World Refugee Day is celebrated by civic groups around the globe. The United Nations established the annual June 20 event to honor the courage, strength, and determination of women, men, and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict, and violence.

These leaders are joining us in Washington to encourage Congress to continue moving ahead on comprehensive immigration reform, and to keep the plight of the world’s 15 million refugees in mind as they undertake this important work. They are scheduled to meet with more than 30 congressional offices today.

What’s happening on Capitol Hill today reflects American Lutherans’ deep immigrant roots and passionate commitment to welcoming newcomers. From the post-World War Two period, when we welcomed tens of thousands of Lutheran refugees to the United States, up to today, we’ve been showing the world our faith in action by offering hospitality and welcome. This is part of a broad Lutheran tradition that continues to today.

I’m proud of LIRS’s refugee resettlement work, I’m honored to have these talented leaders taking our shared message to Capitol Hill, and I ask that you join with us in advocating for vulnerable migrants.

You can speak up for stronger refugee protection and welcome in comprehensive immigration reform by visiting the LIRS Action Center. It’s critically important that your voice be heard during the Senate debate taking place now. As always, thank you for standing with refugees!

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