Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is taking the COVID-19 outbreak seriously as a global threat to all. During these trying times, we remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers we serve – and in turn, protecting the wider communities they call home.
Right now, Members of Congress are working on important legislation to address the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. If this crisis has made anything clear, it is that we are all connected and dependent upon each other to ensure the health and well-being of our neighbors and ourselves.
On Monday, March 23, Members of Congress will vote on a third legislative package to address the outbreak. They need to hear that their constituents want to see meaningful solutions that support all of our neighbors, including immigrant and refugee community members.
How you can help
Please email your Senators & Representatives TODAY and tell them to:
- Eliminate immigration restrictions for COVID testing and treatment. Now is a time to come together and recognize that we are all part of one human race. Public health officials have made clear that pandemics do not recognize status or borders. We call upon Congress and the administration to ensure equal access to care, testing, and treatment. Only then will we effectively stop transmission and eradicate this virus. When all community members have the care they need, we all benefit.
- Ensure recently-arrived refugees and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders don’t fall through the cracks and receive financial relief by providing $18 million for the Migration and Refugee Assistance account for the State Department and $642 million for the Refugee Entrant Assistance account for the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Extend the validity period of issued visas, as Afghan Special Immigrant Visa recipients, in particular, may see their travel to the United States disrupted and be forced to remain in life-threatening situations.
- Ensure the most vulnerable communities get the economic support they need. This crisis has shown us our economy runs on the backs of our most vulnerable communities – especially those in the hospitality and support services industries. Yet right now congress is trying to exclude these workers from economic support. We must support all those on whom the American economy runs on.
Together, we will love our neighbor as we love ourselves to ensure that all of God’s children are protected at this challenging moment in history.
Thank you for taking action!