New name, same mission! LIRS is becoming 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
Start of main content.

Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Global Refuge Fiercely Opposes Administration Plan to Divert Military Funding to Vanity Border Wall Project

Global Refuge logo

Global Refuge Staff

September 4, 2019

Baltimore, MD – Amid reports that the Trump administration intends to divert $3.6 billion in military construction project funding to build a border wall, Global Refuge unequivocally opposes this latest attempt to militarize the southern border. In a letter to congressional leaders, Defense Secretary Mark Esper specified that a total of 127 military projects in the United States and abroad would be terminated or delayed in order to finance 11 projects on the border.

“This is the most costly vanity project in American history, and comes at the expense of our national interests at home and abroad, no less,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president & CEO of Global Refuge. “We made a sacred vow to the men and women who serve our country to do everything in our power to protect them as they put their lives on the line for this country. It is disgraceful that we would cut vital funding to our military in the name of a man-made ‘national emergency’” continued Vignarajah.

This controversial funding maneuver comes in addition to the $2.5 billion the Pentagon had already diverted from its budget this spring in favor of border barriers, despite objections from leaders on the House and Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees. Similarly, Tuesday’s decision has sparked concerns over the legality of such a re-appropriation.

“The power of the purse is firmly vested in Congress, and to bypass constitutional responsibility in pursuit of a downright un-American wall is deeply disturbing,” remarked Vignarajah.

The news of diverted funding for a wall also follows the deployment of 6,600 active duty, National Guard and Texas National Guard troops to the southern border earlier this year.

“The facts are quite clear – we are witnessing the creeping militarization of our border,” noted Vignarajah. “If we put half as many resources into welcoming and integrating newcomers into our communities, our country could simultaneously embrace its legacy as a place of refuge and renew the promise of the American Dream that so many have achieved

Founded in 1939, Global Refuge (LIRS) is one of the largest immigration and refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. Global Refuge is nationally recognized for its leadership working with and advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through 80 years of service and advocacy, Global Refuge has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.

The Latest

  • Press Release

    February 23, 2024

    Global Refuge alarmed by Biden administration consideration of new asylum ban

    The Biden administration is considering executive action to further restrict asylum eligibility at the southern border for people who cross between official ports of entry.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    February 15, 2024

    HHS: Refugees & Asylees Generate $123.8 Billion Net Fiscal Benefit

    "This study demonstrates that refugee resettlement is firmly within our national interest, both in terms of maintaining our global humanitarian leadership and bolstering federal, state, and local resources."

    Read More
  • Press Release

    February 15, 2024

    White House Designates Deferred Enforced Departure for Palestinians

    "The DED designation offers much-needed support and protection to Palestinians living in our country at a time when their homeland is going through so much tumult. The ongoing conflict makes returning unsafe for the foreseeable future, so this decision demonstrates the Biden administration’s commitment to our nation being a global humanitarian leader during times of crisis.”

    Read More
  • Press Release

    February 4, 2024

    Senators announce bipartisan immigration legislation

    Global Refuge responds to bipartisan legislation concerning immigration policy, which has been tied to an emergency supplemental foreign assistance bill.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    January 29, 2024

    Global Refuge responds to President Biden statement on immigration negotiations

    Global Refuge is deeply troubled by President Biden’s statement on bipartisan senate negotiations concerning immigration policy, touting “a new emergency authority to shut down the border."

    Read More