Global Refuge Statement on Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse | Global Refuge

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Press Release

Global Refuge Statement on Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse

Global Refuge Staff

March 26, 2024

According to sources, six immigrant construction workers remain missing as search and rescue efforts continue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2024

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

Baltimore, MD – Early this morning at approximately 1:30am, a cargo ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, one of the city’s main transportation arteries, causing the structure to collapse. Rescue teams continue searching for six members of a construction crew believed to have fallen into the Patapsco River below. According to the Baltimore Banner, the missing men are from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, and live in the city’s Dundalk and Highlandtown neighborhoods.

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Baltimore-headquartered Global Refuge, one of the nation’s largest immigration services nonprofits:

“We are profoundly heartbroken, and our thoughts are with those missing, their loved ones, our first responders, and our entire city left reeling from today’s unthinkable tragedy. Bridges can be rebuilt, but the damage inflicted on these families can never fully be repaired. We pray that those missing be found, and that all those impacted by this tragedy find strength, healing, and comfort during this incredibly trying time.”

“This catastrophe has already disproportionately impacted our city’s immigrant community, one that often toils in demanding and dangerous jobs to the benefit of all who call Baltimore home. Having walked alongside our city’s newcomers for decades, we know firsthand how courageous and resilient our immigrant neighbors are. We stand in solidarity with these families, and all those seeking a safer, better life for their loved ones.”

“We know our city is strong. We know we can and we will rebuild. And we also know the contributions of our immigrant brothers and sisters will continue to be essential in that effort. No matter our country of origin, Baltimore is home and we’re immeasurably stronger when we pull together under the banner of our common humanity.”

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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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