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Statements and Releases



Newsroom | Statements and Releases

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation has awarded LSSNCA a generous grant of $85,000 in support of our Refugee and Immigrant Services Program for fiscal year 2023.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) strongly supports the Protecting Unaccompanied Children Act introduced by Senator Durbin yesterday, and also applauds the complementary letter released October 23, by Sen. Durbin and other concerned senators to the Department of Labor echoing our calls to hold companies accountable to follow existing child labor laws and regulations.  

“The proposed legislation recognizes the unique vulnerabilities children fleeing violence and persecution who arrive in the United States alone face,” said Kristyn Peck, LSSNCA CEO. “It provides much-needed safeguards and protection by filling in critical gaps for unaccompanied children in the U.S.,” she continued. 

The office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services awarded its 2023 CARING Grant to Solutions in Hometown Connections (SHC), a nonprofit based in Riverdale, MD that serves immigrant families. SHC will work with subawardee Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area to provide legal services for naturalization through this program.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) welcomes the administration's recent decision to extend and expand Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghanistan. TPS is crucial for individuals facing uncertainty and unable to return to their home country due to ongoing conflicts, natural disasters, or similar extreme situations. TPS recipients often qualify for essential services that are vital for rebuilding their lives.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.