Last week news came that the White House is considering setting the ceiling for refugee resettlement for Fiscal Year 2020 at zero-this at a time when the number of people fleeing civil strife, gang violence, drought and deadly poverty is at its highest since the end of World War II.
Biblical faith demands that we care for the sojourner and alien among us. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which was established in 1939 and has helped more than 500,000 refugees become Americans, is our partner in the critical, life-saving ministry of refugee resettlement.
Please consider contacting your congressional representative expressing your concern about this issue. A sample text, drafted by LIRS, follows:
"I'm your constituent from [City, State], and [as a person of faith], I urge you to affirm the right of all people to seek asylum and protection. Central American families - men, women and children - are fleeing to safety wherever they can.
This must be treated as a humanitarian crisis and refugee situation, rather than an as an immigration enforcement issue. I call on you to terminate the administration's latest asylum ban that denies protection to individuals who do not first apply for protection in at least one country through which they travel en route to the United States.
I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure the administration processes and welcomes asylum seekers, stops returning asylum seekers to harm, and ends detaining children in inhumane conditions.
My community welcomes asylum seekers and immigrants, and I urge you to do the same."