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Statements and Releases



Newsroom | Statements and Releases

Last week, LSSNCA joined 100+ civil society organizations calling on the Biden Administration to take all available additional steps to end the Title 42 policy - which has overwhelmingly targeted Black, Brown & Indigenous asylum seekers - and mitigate its continuing harms.

LSSNCA was one of 117 organizations to urge the Biden administration to resume legal services for Afghans who are eligible for Special Immigrant Visa status.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) celebrates the passage of language in the Ukraine supplemental signed by President Biden making Ukrainians in the United States with humanitarian parole status eligible for certain refugee benefits and services through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). These essential benefits include Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA), Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), and employment case management services.  

Yesterday, families and friends of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas experienced a nightmare, and we all went to sleep heartbroken. Our prayers are with those impacted by this tragedy. Today, let’s wake up.

103 faith-based organizations and 215 faith leaders sent a letter to Congress urging them to uphold U.S. asylum laws and strongly reject any anti-asylum measures. Earlier this month, people of faith joined immigrant-led groups in welcoming the Biden administration’s plans to end the inhumane Title 42 policy by May 23rd, and expressed their readiness to work with the administration to restore welcome.

Ukrainians arriving through the Uniting for Ukraine program will not be able to access the same public benefits and services as a refugee, and refugee resettlement agencies, like Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA), will not have funding to provide case management and job placement services.

Uniting for Ukraine leaves Ukrainians vulnerable and without access to the same benefits and services as a refugee. LSSNCA is gearing up to help welcome Ukrainians, and looks forward to continuing our partnerships throughout the community so we can build a strong network of welcome and support around our new neighbors. 

After years of advocacy by the diaspora and with the immigration community, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) is relieved the Biden Administration is finally extending lifesaving Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Cameroonians.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) welcomes the signaling from the Biden Administration that it will end Title 42, a decision that is long overdue. This harmful policy denied more than 1.7 million people fleeing persecution their lawful right to seek asylum in the United States.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) is pleased by the announcement from the Biden Administration that the United States will welcome 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russian violence. We implore the Administration to diligently review visa options, so we do not leave another group stuck in immigration legal limbo like Afghan nationals who were granted humanitarian parole status.

This year, the General Assembly passed SB 68 / HB 979, important legislation that strengthens refugee
integration in Virginia and helps them continue to thrive. We encourage Governor Youngkin to swiftly sign the legislation into law. This legislation creates a provisional teacher licensure for teachers licensed or certified to teach outside of the United States and addresses the underutilization of refugee talent to strengthen our
education system.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) is pleased with the Administration's announcement today that it has designated Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, acknowledging Afghans cannot return home due to the current dangers.

Over the last five years, Virginia’s resettlement program downsized significantly as the rate of refugee arrivals slowed. This devastated families awaiting reunification, abandoning their vulnerable relatives, and depriving employers who have relied upon refugees as employees with a reliable workforce The U.S. has committed to rebuilding the resettlement program and Virginia has already welcomed thousands of Afghan evacuees. Virginia has a critical role to play in investing in community wholeness and ensuring new arrivals have their basic needs met.

Home is where you should feel safe, and our hearts are with the people of Ukraine during this time of fear, uncertainty, and loss of safety. Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) offers our solidarity and prayers as we watch the situation unfold and see the traffic jams and border crossings as Ukrainians make difficult decisions to seek safety for themselves and their families.

In our experience providing counseling, citizenship, and employment services to Cameroonians, LSSNCA has heard their stories about the torture they experienced in Cameroon, the challenges they experienced with the U.S. asylum process, and their fears about their fate if they were to return.

LSSNCA is the 2022 recipient of the Lutheran Services in America (LSA) Micah Award, one of three prestigious leadership awards bestowed by LSA each year. Kristyn Peck, LSSNCA’s CEO, received the award during LSA’s virtual annual CEO Summit on Tuesday where she joined CEOs from the 300 Lutheran Services in America (LSA) member organizations. 

Working with individuals who were forced to “Remain in Mexico,” we have seen the negative effects of the policy. During the Trump Administration, more than 60,000 asylum applicants were sent to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols. It is one thing to uphold a court order, another to expand it as the Biden Administration has done, enveloping the Western Hemisphere inclusive of Haitian migrants, into the fold now. 

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA), a human service agency that has served the D.C. Metro Area for more than 100 years, welcomes five new board members to join its rapidly growing organization.

“As the number of persons who are forced to leave their homelands globally is at a record high, increasing the number of U.S. refugee admissions is in alignment with our nation’s legacy and values,” said Kristyn Peck, LSSNCA CEO. LSSNCA has committed to serving 2,400 refugees in Fiscal Year 2022 and expects at least 90% of those numbers to be Afghans.

The actions taken by the United States to expel Haitians before they have the opportunity to seek asylum betray our country’s origins as a beacon of hope for those seeking refuge and protection and are a violation of our commitment to allow persons to seek asylum as defined in the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol of which the United States is a signatory.

“We are devastated by the abhorrent attacks that have rattled Kabul as U.S. citizens and Afghan Allies attempt to evacuate. As we mourn the victims of this senseless attack, we also keep lift their families, and Americans and Afghan Allies still in Afghanistan in our hearts and prayers.”

The DC region is a key hub for Afghan refugees resettling in the United States on Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). With a critical influx of new refugees fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan, The Jewish Federation’s United Jewish Endowment Fund (UJEF) has partnered with Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area (LSSNCA), a key leader of resettlement efforts, to further this urgent work, granting more than $350,000 to LSSNCA.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) welcomes an influx of Afghan Allies as a result of the Biden Administration’s evacuation of 2,500 individuals by September 11. Afghan allies and their families began arriving at Fort Lee, located outside of Richmond, VA, on July 30.

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) welcomes the news from President Biden on July 8 that efforts are underway to safely evacuate Afghan allies prior to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan on September 11.

“For many, evacuation is a matter of life and death, said Kristyn Peck, CEO of LSSNCA. “The devil is in the details, and we are waiting for those details to include eligibility requirements and a timeline. Timing is crucial as friends and heroes to the U.S. mission are being left behind in harm’s way,” she said.