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LIRS statement on President’s memo excluding undocumented people from the United States Census Immigration

For immediate release: July 21, 2020

Contact: Timothy Young | [email protected] | 443-257-6310

Washington, DC – President Trump on July 21 issued a memorandum This will exclude undocumented people from the United States Census. Below is an explanation of Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). LIRS is one of the oldest and largest refugee resettlement agencies in the United States:

“This hideous memorandum confirms what we already knew: this White House does not see immigrants as people. The constitution explicitly instructs Congress to conduct a census that counts people, not citizens.

In issuing this memorandum, the government is again demonstrating its disregard for vital members of our society who have been essential to our nation’s front-line response. Does the DACA recipient treating COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit not count? Don’t count the undocumented agricultural workers who literally put food on our tables?

The inhumanity of the memorandum alone is amazing. But its impact on our nation – including the millions of people who are not included in public funding for schools, hospitals, or emergency services – is simply not understandable. If you exclude this community from the census, your representation in government and the much needed resources will be limited in a time of unprecedented challenges. At least we owe these hard working families the dignity of being counted.

However, this decision will affect communities that go beyond these undocumented individuals and families. It is a deliberate effort to provide inaccurate information and thereby undersupply brown and black communities that affect all Americans, including documented citizens. If you provide resources for 10 documented children in a classroom that has an equal number of undocumented students, all 20 children will suffer. Both documented and undocumented residents of the United States are punished. That must not stop there. “

To request an interview with Ms. Vignarajah, please contact Tim Young at [email protected] or 443-257-6310

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Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is one of the largest immigration and resettlement agencies for refugees in the United States. LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership role in working with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, imprisoned immigrants, families broken up by migration and other vulnerable groups. Through 80 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.

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