Skip to main content



Yesterday and today’s immigration policy and initiative announcements from the Biden Administration reveal just how broken our immigration system is -- with policies that both represent our nation’s legacy and moral obligation to welcome those fleeing persecution and those that raise concerns about due process and treating people with dignity. Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) affirms the inherent dignity of all who migrate. We know people do not leave their homes unless the fear of staying outweighs the fear of uncertainty and danger of the journey.

The Biden Administration is rumored to be considering leaving vulnerable individuals in the care of state governments that have not only expressed their disdain toward those in need but have acted on it. We call on the Administration, and Congressional partners, to embrace the sentiments this country, a nation of immigrants, was founded on: the fundamental rights to liberty and access to fair due process and take seriously the protection of those seeking safety at our door.

RISE will equip aspiring entrepreneurs from refugee and immigrant backgrounds with the knowledge and support they need to change the trajectory of their lives and those of their families, through entrepreneurship training and mentorship with an entrepreneur. This program was made possible through the generous support of Sumeet Shrivastava (MBA ‘94) and in partnership with the Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area.

Buoyed by a $1.5 million donation from a local tech executive, George Mason University is launching a training program for aspiring entrepreneurs from refugee and immigrant backgrounds, the first phase of its inclusive entrepreneurship training initiative.

We all are familiar with foster care. The system for children of all ages who may be orphaned or need to be removed from unsafe homes. What you may not know is that some of the children in need of foster care were not born here. A significant and growing number of children in foster care are immigrants or refugees. We discuss more about who these children are, where they come from and some of the challenges they face.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) welcomes the Biden Administration’s recent extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine and Sudan. This move highlights the ongoing commitment to communities in need of protection, providing them with a sense of stability without fear of deportation, and allowing them the opportunity to continue contributing positively to the economy and their local communities. ... This is why we continue calling for TPS extension for countries such as Afghanistan, Mauritania, Mali, and others in need.

Taqwa Kandahary, once a doctor in the Afghan military, said she recently learned to drive. Her journey two years ago took her from the chaos of the Kabul airport to Qatar, Germany and finally Virginia. ... The happiest day of her life was the day she arrived in America, Kandahary said.

Washington, DC, has been welcoming to Afghans who were forced to flee their homes two years ago as U.S. troops abruptly departed from their home country. Those who escaped found support in communities across the country, but especially in the Washington metropolitan area ... There is still a great humanitarian need to finish the resettlement that’s underway.

Two years after the chaotic fall of Kabul, stateside evacuees want lawmakers to step up to help allies who’ve made a new home here as well as those left behind. LSSNCA's director, resettlement and integration programs - Frederick and Arbutus, shares his story.

LSSNCA joined 202 civil, human rights, and immigrant rights organizations in the wake of the U.S. District Court’s decision in the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant case, pertaining to your administration’s “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” rule (“asylum ban”), to urge your administration to withdraw your recently filed appeal and stay motion and accept the court’s decision as final.

LSSNCA along with more than 50 nonprofit organizations endorsed the Stateless Protection Act of 2023 for the benefits it will offer stateless people, their families, and their communities in the United States. We thank Sen. Cardin and Rep. Raskin for their leadership on this Act and urge Congress to take action to pass this legislation.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) welcomes the recent decision made by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar to strike down the asylum restrictions imposed by the Biden administration. We concur with his opinion that the rules are unlawful.

On Sunday, June 11, The Arlington Chorale performed their "We Stand Together" program, highlighting the refugee experience, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington in collaboration with LSSNCA to welcome new Afghan neighbors.

Just a month ahead of the two-year anniversary marking the fall of Kabul, a bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act (S.2327 / H.R.4627) has been reintroduced .... A year later we continue to see the consequences of not supporting allies with the provision of this pathway.

We are deeply saddened and outraged by the tragic killing of Nasrat Ahmad Yar, a former Afghan interpreter who bravely served alongside the U.S. Army Special Forces in Afghanistan. The senseless act of violence that took Nasrat's life at such a young age is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by our Afghan Allies in their journey to seek safety and security.

According to United Nations (UN) estimates, over 1.5 million people have been forcibly displaced since the conflict erupted, both within Sudan and outside its borders. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees advised governments to not return civilians fleeing Sudan due to the conflict, calling it a “refugee movement.” It is imperative that the administration grant an 18-month extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected
Status for Sudan due to the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that threaten the lives of Sudanese nationals in the United States if returned.

This letter was signed by 30 Members of Congress, and endorsed by 40+ organizations, including LSSNCA, the Human Rights Campaign, Immigration Equality, the Latin America Working Group, Refugees International, the Transgender Law Center, the Council on Global Equality, the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Women's Refugee Commission, the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, the International Refugee Assistance Project, the African Human Rights Coalition, Alianza Americas, the Bridges Faith Initiative, the Church World Service, the Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Coalition on Human Needs, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), InReach, the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), Refugee Congress, ASISTA, Oxfam America, the Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration, Human Rights First, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Oasis, ORAM, Win Without War, Lambda Legal, Hispanic Federation, International Rescue Committee, the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, African Communities Together, The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, Equality California, We Are All America, Rainbow Railroad, the New York Immigration Coalition and Lawyers for Good Government.

Two years into its operation, the Dedicated Docket continues to amplify the lack of due process and basic fairness that families experience in our immigration court system. Thousands of families remain without legal representation and immigration judges continue to order children and their families removed in absentia, including when families have faithfully attended DHS check-ins and waited in hours-long lines to enter the courtroom only to arrive too late to their hearings.

LSSNCA welcomes the recent decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind the prior administration's termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua and to extend TPS for these countries. This decision represents a significant step forward in recognizing the importance of providing a temporary immigration status for individuals who are unable to return to their countries due to unsafe conditions, to include armed conflicts, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

This testimony regarding Ensuring the Safety and Well-being of Unaccompanied Children on June 14, 2023, will highlight LSSNCA’s recommendations for how the United States can strengthen its response to ensure the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children. Underlying our recommendations is our fundamental belief that all children should be treated as we would want our own children to be treated. Many of these recommendations are not new ... Many organizations that serve and advocate on behalf of unaccompanied children and asylum-seekers have also called for increased protections for unaccompanied children for more than a decade, and so I am demanding a sense of real urgency be paid to these recommendations which are of immediate and critical consequence.

Today, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) received the Alexandria (Va.) Chamber of Commerce’s Community Valor Award. The award is in recognition of the exemplary efforts performed to resettle asylum-seekers, provide mental health support to survivors of trafficking, hosting legal workshops for Afghan Allies, and providing dedicated employment training programs to strengthen the regional workforce. The award also recognizes LSSNCA’s new Resource Center which has served more than 1,000 individuals since opening in January 2023. The Resource Center serves as a community hub and source for essentials needs, community, and programming as families make Northern Virginia their new home.

Along with 142 non-Indigenous allies LSSNCA signed a letter in in solidarity to support Indigenous Peoples’ concerns about the exclusion of Indigenous Peoples from “lawful pathways” to seek asylum under recent changes to U.S. asylum processes. As allies, we uplift the needs, barriers, and recommendations already identified by Indigenous Peoples at the frontlines in the advancement of their human rights. Please read the letter delivered to the Administration on June 1, 2023.

In the wake of the end of Title 42, new iterations of restrictive immigration policies and proposals have been introduced by Congress and the Administration. Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) urges Members of Congress to oppose S.1473, introduced by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), as well as the House companion bill H.R. 3234. This bill in effect would continue Title 42 and harm families and children seeking safety in the U.S. as well as imposing detention and expulsion without a fair process or adequate protections.

Chamber ALX’s Community Valor Award will be given to Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area. Born during the pandemic, the award recognizes businesses and individuals making considerable contributions to the wellbeing of Alexandrians.