Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Profoundly Disappointed by Texas Governor’s Decision to Opt Out of Immigration And Refugee Resettlement Resettlement
In response to Governor Abbott’s decision to block refugee resettlement in Texas, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service issued the following statement:
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This is a deeply disappointing decision – although not surprising given Texas’ previous but unsuccessful opposition to refugee resettlement a few years ago. This is precisely why we filed a lawsuit against President Trump's unlawful executive order, and we are confident that justice will be served -- allowing children and families who have been waiting in desperation for years to be reunited with their family in Texas.
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Nearly 2,500 refugees started to rebuild their lives in Texas last year, many of whom have additional family members in harm’s way seeking to join them in safety. These families have been torn apart by violence, war and persecution – but we never thought they would be needlessly separated by a U.S. state official.
The governor’s decision unfortunately disregards the desire of so many of the religious communities we’ve worked closely with in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and beyond, to live out their faith. Needless to say, we are particularly disheartened by this egregious violation of our religious freedom.
Historically, Texas has served as a beacon of hope for refugees from across the globe, having resettled the highest number of immigration and refugee resettlement of any state. It is shameful that the state is once again trying to illegally reverse this legacy of welcome and compassion now.
We will continue to coordinate with our partners on the ground in Texas. There are simply too many lives hanging in the balance to give up now.