On July 23, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) announced the launch of a new report, "At the Crossroads for Unaccompanied Migrant Children: Policy, Practice & Protection." More than 40 people attended the standing-room-only event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which featured remarks from Linda Hartke, LIRS President and CEO and a panel discussion with experts on immigration and refugee resettlement:
- Elvis Garcia, Former Unaccompanied Minor, Migration Counselor at Catholic Charities Community Services of New York
- Benjamin Roth, PhD, University of South Carolina, College of Social Work
- Breanne Grace, PhD, University of South Carolina, College of Social Work
- Dr. Susan Terrio, Georgetown University, Department of Anthropology
- Nicole Boehner, Protection Associate, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The report and presentation are the culmination of multiple roundtable discussions with diverse and multi-disciplinary experts that LIRS hosted around the country and with the input of government and related organizations that contributed to the report. You can access the report here: http://lirs.org/crossroads/
LSA was in attendance at this event representing our nationwide network. LIRS is a valued sister organization and 31 of our member organizations (just over 10% of our network) are active in immigration and refugee services, working directly on resettling those who are newly arrived and helping welcome them to their new homes and communities. Thank you to all the members of our national network who care for refugees and unaccompanied minors and work every day to transform lives and communities.
Said Hartke, "LIRS has 76 years of walking alongside migrants and refugees. We are called by our faith and love to serve every neighbor that God gives to us and we stand for welcoming new neighbors…It's imperative that we learn collectively from our experience in this work… Thank you to our national network of partner organizations for sharing your wisdom and insights on providing safe and welcoming homes."