Lutheran immigration group pleased with Homeland Security changes

A Lutheran group which advocates for immigrants is pleased with changes made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Obama Administration. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) works toward improved treatment for immigrants and is opposed to long-term detentions of immigrants in federal facilities. The Rev. Maristela Freiberg from St. Stephan’s Grace Community in Newark, N.J., gathers monthly with other Lutherans for prayer vigils outside the Elizabeth Detention Center where many immigrants are held. “We pray for the detained, for those who work on their behalf, for those who work in the detention center and for our lawmakers, because we know that our broken immigration system needs to change,” she said. “This kind of warehouse is no place to hold people, especially those fleeing life threatening situations, as is the case for most asylum seekers. No one has any doubt that God wants this situation to change so that people who come to this country seeking our protection are treated with dignity and respect and have the chance to live in freedom.” Mark Junkans, executive director of Lutheran Inter-City Network Coalition in Houston has witnessed immigration snafus up close. He was directly involved in the case of a Lutheran missionary pastor’s wife being detained for weeks as she attempted to reunite with her husband. “Individuals seeking asylum in the United States have faced challenges far beyond what we can imagine,” Junkans explained. “Our country should not inflict further trauma to asylum seekers by holding men, women and children as criminals for indefinite periods of time. The return to a humane and just detention system is long overdue.” LIRS praised Homeland Security for moving further away from a “penal detention model.” “We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to create an immigration system that truly upholds America’s values,” LIRS executive vice president Anne P. Wilson said. Link: Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:

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  1. wandagbb said:

    “We pray for the detained…” And who is praying for Americans? This country is the most generous in the world towards immigrants and still our borders are trespassed by millions. It is all well and good to advocate for poor people but 4 billion of the world’s poor can not migrate here, they must work to make their homelands functional. “Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” – Adam Smith, economist and ethicist Everything you need to know about immigration and what to do about it humorously told. (Roy Beck and NumbersUSA are the “gumball” heroes) —————-

    August 11, 2009

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