President Trump Signs Presidential Proclamation To Bar Certain Refugees From Seeking Asylum In U.S.

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Editor's Note: Catholic Charities has worked closely with the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) to provide immigrant and refugee services in Southwest Kansas. We stand with them in their call for justice and compassion for families fleeing violence.

Washington, DC – Today, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation taking steps to make it more difficult for certain asylum seekers to seek protection in the United States. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) strongly encourages the U.S. government to uphold its legal and moral obligations to allow families fleeing violence the opportunity to claim asylum in the United States. 

“These families are trying to find a safe place to call home,” said Kay Bellor, Vice President for Programs at LIRS. “The U.S. cannot turn a blind eye to people fleeing violence. Our faith teaches us to love our neighbor, and our common values inspire us to open our doors to those seeking refuge. As long as violence and repression persist in Honduras and other countries, people will continue to flee to safety. Our call is to welcome them and treat them with respect and dignity once they arrive.”

United States law allows people fleeing persecution and violence to seek asylum, regardless of their form of entry. We call on the administration to allow these families due process and the opportunity to make their asylum claim.


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

Since our founding, LIRS has been monitoring and advocating with people seeking asylum. In 2014, LIRS published First Steps, a resource guide to help asylum seekers navigate the complex U.S. immigration process. In 2015, LIRS ran a Family Placement Alternatives program, which ultimately showed that alternatives to detention are cost-effective and can result in high rates of compliance. Currently, LIRS manages a detention visitation network that brings comfort and hope to thousands of detained asylum seekers nationwide. And in 2018, LIRS was one of just two organizations called upon to aid the U.S. government in vital family reunification efforts. Through these efforts, LIRS offered support to nearly 450 children and families, providing immediate reception and respite services, arranging transportation to communities equipped to meet their needs, and providing referrals to vital community services, including legal and mental health providers.

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