Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Just in time for Christmas, Congress seems to have avoided a government shutdown with the gift of a yearlong spending bill. We are pleased to report that the bill is free of provisions that would restrict or disrupt the refugee resettlement program! Final votes are expected on the bill Friday.
Congress listened to your steadfast commitment to protecting the world’s most vulnerable! We at LIRS cannot thank you enough for taking action in support of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. This has been a particularly tumultuous battle, with several Members of Congress vowing to bar entry for refugees fleeing terrorism and war in the Middle East. You helped the message of loving our neighbor ring out triumphant in a time clouded by fear and hatred. Thank you.
However, LIRS remains concerned that the funds allocated to refugee-related accounts and programming may not support President Obama’s determination to increase refugee admissions from 70,000 in Fiscal Year 2015 to 85,000 this Fiscal Year. We will continue advocating to the Administration and Members of Congress to ensure adequate funding levels to protect and resettle refugees from all backgrounds in the coming months.
As we prepare to start a new year with new hope, we want to thank you for all that you do to welcome the stranger.  When you respond to our calls for action, our collective voices ring more powerfully.
For those who are looking for additional ways to help vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers, here are a few ways you can lend your support to refugees this holiday season:
  1. Join the LIRS Holiday Card Writing Campaign and Gift Drive for asylum-seeking families in immigration detention.
  2. Offer a donation to LIRS to support refugee resettlement and services.
  3. Call and thank your Members of Congress for passing a spending bill without language harmful to refugees by using the Congressional switchboard: 1-866-961-4293.
While you gather with your loved ones this Christmas, may you keep our vulnerable brothers and sisters seeking refuge in your hearts and prayers. We thank you for spreading joy and light and, of course, for your commitment to standing for welcome!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Brittney Nystrom
Director for Advocacy

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