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Statements and Releases



Newsroom | Statements and Releases

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.

LSSNCA along with 53 other national, state, and local organizations signed this letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement urging the government to strengthen the U.S. capacity to welcome and serve Afghan arrivals who were paroled into the United States since July 31, 2021. This includes a guarantee of continuity of service provisions and extended eligibility for legal services.

We lament the loss of eight people who were tragically killed on May 7 in Brownsville, Texas. We grieve along with their families, friends, and their communities, and mourn their futures that were cut short. Our thoughts are also with the 10 who were injured and hospitalized. We continue supporting and welcoming those courageous enough to take these journeys and are grateful for our team and community for creating welcome for those seeking a better life.

LSSNCA along with more than 160 organizations called on the Administration to immediately redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghanistan.

Click the heading to read the full letter.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) welcomes today’s announcement that the tens of thousands of Afghans who were evacuated through humanitarian parole following the fall of Kabul have the ability to work and stay in the U.S. for two more years.

Rather than keeping pathways open or exploring new ways to provide protection to those seeking it, the Administration’s new asylum policies curb the basic human right of access to safety and contradict U.S. and international human rights laws and treaties. We urge the Administration to course correct and uphold our moral responsibility to welcome those seeking protection.

LSSNCA’s position is that the proposed role would significantly curtail access for vulnerable migrants to seek protection through the asylum-process. Our concerns are related to the flawed premise in the rule that migrants would be able to apply for asylum in transit countries as well as the documented accessibility challenges with the CBP One app. Primarily, the proposed rule violates U.S. asylum law, our commitment to international human rights treaties, and our moral responsibility and legacy as a country that is a beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution and seeking freedom. 

Following a New York Times report earlier this month that the Biden administration is considering reinstatement of family detention at the US-Mexico border, 130 faith-based organizations delivered a letter to the White House today urging the administration to halt these inhumane plans.

The letter was signed by 130 religious organizations and announced by Rafael Bernal in The Hill. The faith organizations’ demands in the letter echo those of members of Congress, faith leaders, and human rights groups’ recent sign-on letter and public demonstration at the White House.

Today the Biden Administration announced its intention to re-issue a version of the Trump Administration’s asylum, or transit, ban that requires families and individuals to seek asylum in countries they pass through en route to the United States first. Transit ban 2.0 emulates the previous administration’s disregard for America’s national asylum laws and commitments to international human rights laws and treaties, and our moral obligation and tradition of welcoming people escaping conflict and persecution.

On January 12, 2023, the HRC, alongside partners, Alternative Chance, Haitian Bridge Alliance, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, University of Miami School of Law Immigration Clinic, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law Transnational Legal Clinic, called on the Biden administration to stop all deportations to Haiti. The letter was based on information found in the Urgent Call to Stop U.S. Deportations to Haiti report.

We mourn the senseless and tragic death of Tyre Nichols and call for justice in solidarity with the Nichols family, the Memphis community, and all those impacted by this tragic loss.

LSSSNA along with 164 other faith-based organizations and congregations across traditions wrote the Biden Administration with grave concern about the forthcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that will set in motion an asylum ban in the form of a rule that bars people from asylum if they enter without inspection or do not seek protection in countries of transit.

In response to President Biden’s immigration policy announcement today, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) wishes we could commend the Administration on taking steps to resolve our burdened immigration system. However, we are instead expressing our disappointment ...

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) is outraged at the failure to pass the bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act, which echoed previous policies providing a path to permanent residency for Vietnamese, Cubans and Iraqis. This legislation would have supported our allies, enhanced national security, and made the transition easier for those who already gave up so much.

Following an eleventh hour request to keep Title 42 in place, the Supreme Court issued a stay that temporarily delays the termination of the asylum-blocking policy, which was ordered by a lower court to take place by December 21st.

In response, the Biden administration urged the Supreme Court to deny the request, saying the expulsions of migrants under Title 42 cannot be justified as a means of protecting public health. However, the administration urged SCOTUS to keep Title 42 in place for several days if the high court rules in their favor. Advocates have expressed concern as they’ve watched the Biden administration consider new measures to replace Title 42 that would further restrict access to asylum and cause harm to vulnerable migrants seeking safety.

As decades-long armed conflict and a humanitarian crisis afflict the Somali population, the prospect of deportation faces Somali nationals in the U.S. with intolerable levels of danger. African Communities Together (ACT) and the TPS-DED Administrative Advocacy Coalition (TPS-DED AAC) are launching a campaign for TPS for Somalia, supported by a coalition of 116 organizations advocating for civil and human rights. In a letter being released today, they wrote to the Biden-Harris administration exhorting them to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia.

We urge (1) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) to classify qualifying Afghan minors not previously classified as Unaccompanied Afghan
Minors (UAM); and (2) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee
Resettlement (ORR) to ensure that regardless of classification, all Afghan children who qualify
as UAMs are able to receive child welfare-centered post-release services for unaccompanied
children and full legal representation.

We are rejoicing with many communities tonight in the wake of the announcement that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has struck down the use of the cruel and controversial Title 42 policy. Long used as a way to separate families and send those seeking asylum back into harm’s way, we hope this will put an end to the use of any and all supposed public health laws blocking people from reaching safety in the United States.

On October 25th, LSSNCA along with 322 religious leaders and 100 national, state, and local faith-based organizations signed a letter to Sec. Mayorkas expressing deep concern over the announcement that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expanding the use of “Title 42” to expel Venezuelans seeking refuge at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Yesterday the Biden Administration announced its new policy regarding Venezuelans seeking safety in the United States. Providing humanitarian parole relief to more Venezuelans – up to 24,000 - is a welcome step. However, hinging this support on familial ties in the United States and expanding the use of Title 42 to expel Venezuelans to Mexico in conjunction with the program is a step backward.

Last night, the Biden Administration released its presidential determination on refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2023. Like last year, the cap is set at 125,000 – the highest since the 1990s. While we are pleased to see a cap at that level again, we hope the Administration admits more than just 19,919 refugees like it did this year to take advantage of the United States’ renewed commitment to welcoming refugees and resettlement agencies’ capacity building after being dismantled under the previous administration.

Today, 89 local, state, and national organizations led by the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure Administrative Advocacy Coalition (TPS-DED AAC) wrote to President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas, and Secretary Blinken to urge an 18-month extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Burma.

RCUSA delivered a letter to President Biden on behalf of 100 national, state, and local organizations urging him to set – and meet – a refugee admissions goal of 200,000 for the 2023 fiscal year.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) joined fellow members of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) in urging Congress to support and pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, and the Biden administration to create safe and efficient pathways out of Afghanistan and into the United States.

Ahead of next week’s one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul, both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives have introduced the long-awaited bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act.