Ahead of State of the Union, Global Refuge urges focus on immigration messaging | Global Refuge

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Press Release

Ahead of State of the Union, Global Refuge urges focus on immigration messaging

Global Refuge Staff

March 7, 2024


March 7, 2024

Contact: Timothy Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org

Washington D.C. – Ahead of tonight’s State of the Union address, Global Refuge urges President Biden to emphasize several key points on immigration. In anticipation of the annual speech, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Global Refuge, shared:

“This is an opportunity for President Biden to leverage his bully pulpit and champion the case for common-sense, bipartisan immigration reforms. As more voters cite immigration as a top concern, it is crucial that they hear our nation is capable of implementing an orderly system that keeps Americans safe, lives up to our humanitarian values, and unleashes the boundless economic potential that immigrants offer.”

“With the well-being of both American and migrant families on the line, President Biden would be more than justified in decrying the rampant partisan gamesmanship that has stymied congressional action. Despite political gridlock and significant challenges at our border, we urge this administration to avoid the pitfalls of thinking that deterrence policies alone will reduce crossings or shore up political support. We know firsthand from working with communities that Americans do not want cruelty toward desperate children and families as their only option. Without investing in additional legal pathways for people to come and contribute to our nation, we will continue to see the disorder that far too many elected officials would prefer to preserve as a campaign issue.”

“President Biden must seize this opportunity to reframe the narrative around immigrants and make a full-throated defense against the widespread and unwarranted demonization we have seen from bad-faith actors. The truth is that these newcomers are hardworking, resilient, and courageous people who undertake a long, dangerous journey to provide a better, safer life for themselves and their children. President Biden should draw a stark contrast through compassion and common sense by stressing that immigrants contribute to our communities as neighbors and friends, revitalize local economies, pay taxes, and fill critical jobs amid crippling labor shortages our nation continues to grapple with.”

About us:

Global Refuge, formerly Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, is a nonprofit serving newcomers seeking safety, support, and a share in the American dream. For 85 years, we have welcomed those seeking refuge, upholding a legacy of compassion and grace for people in crisis. We walk alongside individuals, families, and children as they begin their new lives in the United States through our work in refugee resettlement, welcome and respite services for asylum seekers, economic empowerment and employment, and family unification for unaccompanied children. To date, we have served over 750,000 people from around the globe. At Global Refuge, welcoming newcomers isn’t just our duty — it’s an inherent part of our identity, rooted in our Lutheran heritage and inspired values, and serving as a testament to our unwavering commitment to those in search of refuge.

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