Global Refuge Delivers Powerful Testimony at Congressional Hearing | Global Refuge

New name, same mission! LIRS is now Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

See Our Evolution

The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Donate
Start of main content.

Advocacy // Empowering Refugees

Global Refuge Delivers Powerful Testimony at Congressional Hearing

Global Refuge logo

Global Refuge Staff

October 27, 2023

Global Refuge President and CEO Krish O'Mara Vignarajah spoke to members of Congress about the need to rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and secure additional pathways to protection for those seeking safety.

“Immigration is a win-win, but to fix the system and offer refuge to those seeking safety, we need strong leadership: from the President, from the American public, but most importantly from Congress,” said Global Refuge President and CEO, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, in compelling testimony to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement on Thursday, October 19, 2023.

Vignarajah’s testimony emphasized the urgent need for improvements to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, safeguards for unaccompanied migrant children, passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act, protections for those displaced by climate disaster, and a coherent national system to support asylum seekers that leverages the expertise of refugee resettlement organizations.

With a rich history spanning nearly 85 years, Global Refuge has played a pivotal role in welcoming over 750,000 refugees and immigrants as they rebuild their lives in the United States. Our commitment to protecting those fleeing persecution and violence began during World War II, and has since extended to welcoming and empowering those seeking safety from across the world. The subcommittee hearing comes amid unprecedented global displacement, including challenges U.S. communities face in the absence of a robust domestic humanitarian system to respond to the needs of asylum seekers, particularly as political entities continue to send newly arrived individuals and families to interior cities without advanced notice or coordination.

“We have seen what happens in the absence of a thoughtful, developed infrastructure to provide casework and assistance to asylum seekers: a political circus rife with campaign stunts like privately chartered jets and buses, floating buoy walls in the Rio Grande, and more. Immigrants are not pawns or punch lines,” testified Vignarajah. “America has the capacity to receive refugees and immigrants in a manner that honors our economic, humanitarian, national security, and religious freedom principles – played out in welcoming communities across the U.S. It is left to Congress to find the political will to honor these commitments.” Global Refuge encourages supporters to raise their voices alongside those seeking safety by joining our advocacy efforts today.

Vignarajah’s opening statement can be viewed below, and her written testimony can be found here.

Thumbnail for a video entitled 'The Refugee Program and an Expansion of Lawful Pathways'

The Latest

  • Press Release

    June 18, 2024

    Global Refuge Commends Executive Order Protecting Certain Immigrant Families

    Washington, D.C. – The Biden administration announced today an executive order that will protect certain immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens without status currently living in the United States from being removed from the country.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    June 4, 2024

    Biden administration announces additional asylum restrictions

    The Biden administration announced today a proclamation to further restrict asylum eligibility at the southern border for people who cross between official U.S. ports of entry.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    May 23, 2024

    U.S. Senate renews push for immigration reform

    The United States Senate is poised to vote on immigration legislation this Thursday in an effort to revive reforms previously negotiated by Democratic and Republican senators.

    Read More
  • News

    May 15, 2024

    Empowering our new neighbors on the journey to healing

    Global Refuge supports refugee and immigrant mental health through holistic programming.

    Read More
  • News · Empowering Refugees

    May 14, 2024

    Breaking Barriers to Mental Healthcare

    In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we are spotlighting Margie Hartman LMSW, one of our dedicated clinicians who play a vital role in Global Refuge’s Mental Health Services program.

    Read More

Share