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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Global Refuge Statement on Presidential Memo Excluding Undocumented People from U.S. Census

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Global Refuge Staff

July 21, 2020

Contact: Timothy Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org | 443-257-6310

Washington D.C. – On July 21, President Trump issued a Memorandum which will exclude undocumented people from the United States census. Please find below a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President & CEO of Global Refuge (LIRS). Global Refuge is one of the oldest and largest refugee resettlement agencies in the U.S.:

“This odious memorandum reaffirms what we already knew: this White House does not see immigrants as people. The Constitution explicitly directs Congress to conduct a census that counts persons–not citizens.

By issuing this Memorandum, the Administration is once again showing its disrespect for vital members of our society who have been essential to our nation’s frontline response efforts. Does the DACA recipient treating COVID-19 patients in the ICU not count? Do the undocumented workers in the agricultural industry who are quite literally putting food on our tables not count?

The inhumanity of the Memorandum alone is astounding. But its implications for our nation—for the millions of people who won’t be accounted for in public funding for schools, hospitals, or emergency services, among others—is simply unconscionable. By design, excluding this community from the census will limit their representation in government and limit desperately needed resources at a time of unprecedented challenge. At the very least, we owe these hard-working families the dignity of being counted.

But this decision will affect communities beyond these undocumented individuals and families; it is a willful effort to provide inaccurate information and thus underresource brown and black communities that will affect all Americans, including documented citizens. If you are providing resources for 10 documented children in a classroom that also includes an equal number of undocumented students, all 20 children will suffer. Both documented and undocumented residents of the United States will be punished. This cannot be allowed to stand.”

To request an interview with Mrs. Vignarajah, please contact Tim Young at timothy.young@globalrefuge.org or 443-257-6310

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. 

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