LIRS Staff Member Observes Hearings for Unaccompanied Children, What She Saw Was Heartbreaking


Today, I’d like to share a guest post from Jessica Jones, LIRS Children and Youth Policy Advocate. Jessica recently sat in on the hearings of several unaccompanied children. When she arrived at the courtroom, she didn’t expect to be a lifeline to families. But what unfolded shows how by lending a bit of time and […]

Reports, Voters, and Obama — Top Picks of the Immigration and Refugee Blogosphere


Anti-immigrant rhetoric continues to make itself present in political ads, campaign speeches, and debates. But are voters singing a different tune than those vying to represent them? Through the ballot, as we see this week in a piece from America’s Voice, Americans again have voted to limit ICE’s reach to protect migrants. Will they do […]

From Fleeing the Death Squad in El Salvador to Lutheran Pastor — Pastor Pedro Portillo Shares His Story


Today, I’m delighted to share the courageous story of Pastor Pedro Portillo. In the 1980’s, Pastor Portillo fled persecution by a paramilitary group called Death Squad in El Salvador. Now a Lutheran pastor at Iglesia Luterana La Transfiguracion (The Transfiguration Lutheran Church) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Pastor Pedro tells of his life in El Salvador […]

HEADLINES: Border Crisis — October 23, 2014


Even though the number of unaccompanied minors streaming across the border has decreased in recent months, the factors that forced many from their homes still exist. Drug gangs still run in Guatemala, people are still disappearing in El Salvador, Honduras is still the murder capital of the world, and the United States still continues to […]

Haitian Family Reunification Victory! Obama Administration Announces Program to Expedite Family Reunification


Last Friday, I was greatly heartened to see the Obama Administration announce that they will begin to expedite family reunification for certain eligible Haitians. Called the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) program, the program will accelerate family reunification for Haitians who are living in Haiti and have U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members […]

Elections, Voters, and Ads — Top Picks of the Immigration and Refugee Blogosphere


From Colorado to Kentucky, immigration continues to take center stage as mid-term campaigns enter their final weeks. However, it is time for the rhetoric to stop and for action to start in order to prevent repeating the story that Aura Bogado brings to us this week in ColorLines. In his New Hampshire senatorial campaign Scott […]

HEADLINES: Border Crisis — October 15, 2014


Immigration remains a hot topic along the campaign trail as congressional representatives enter the last few weeks of their mid-term campaigns. While politicians argue, migrants and refugees are forced to risk their lives in pursuit of a better life in this country. It is time for politicians to put aside their partisan differences and to […]

Massive New Family Detention Facility to Open in Texas — National Action Alert


The federal immigration enforcement authorities recently announced they will open a massive family detention facility in Dilley, Texas. The Dilley facility will detain 2,400 mothers and children once it is fully operational and will be the largest and most expensive immigration detention center in the nation. It will also be the third family detention facility […]

Prayer Vigil to End Family Detention on Oct. 20th — Make an Impact in the Lives of Detained Mothers and Children


It deeply saddens me to write that the inhumane and archaic practice of family detention is growing in our country. As LIRS and other organizations have documented again and again, detention is no place for children. There is no humane method to detain families. Most recently, Liz Sweet, LIRS Director for Access to Justice, wrote about […]

Sanctuary, Welcome, and Licenses — Top Picks of the Immigration and Refugee Blogosphere


Despite inaction by the President and congressional representatives, people of faith across the country continue to support migrants and refugees. This week I’d like to highlight two pieces from Sojourners that set two examples of how the faith community provides the right kind of welcome for migrants and refugees looking for safety and security. Churches […]