I was saddened to receive the news of the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg, a true champion for refugees. Few people have made the kind of contributions he did to the security and well-being of people fleeing for their lives.
At LIRS, my colleagues and I work to ensure that America maintains its history of protecting people who come to our shores seeking safety and opportunity. We’re incredibly grateful for Senator Lautenberg’s dedication to refugees and religious minorities fleeing persecution, made evident by his more than 20 years of work on the Lautenberg Amendment. Without this critical program, thousands of people, currently including Iranian religious minorities, would be left in dangerous conditions. LIRS was so pleased to see that the Senate immigration reform bill, S. 744, includes an extension of this program and permanent authority to the president to provide this kind of protection. LIRS is working closely with the Senate to ensure this provision’s passage and enactment into law.
We had planned to honor Senator Lautenberg at an upcoming celebration of World Refugee Day at our Walk of Courage Award Dinner on June 19 and will continue to honor him in memoriam.
Senator Lautenberg’s legacy will surely be one of providing welcome and hope to the world’s most vulnerable populations. As we celebrate and commemorate his lifetime of public service, our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and colleagues at this time of loss.
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