Danielle Kearney looks up from her paper-strewn desk with a worried frown. Outside her Tampa office door, only one refugee seeks assistance.
"In the eight months before 9/11, we averaged 45 refugees a month," says Kearney, director of Lutheran Services Florida's refugee and immigration program. "Since then it's fallen to about 16 a month." Kearney understands the need for security measures, but it's the people that most concern her.
Government restrictions on immigrant and refugee arrivals are a phenomenon that all of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service's 27 resettlement affiliates are experiencing. LIRS, supported by the ELCA, the Lithuanian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Diaspora and the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, serves refugees and migrants in the United States. Government funding, based on numbers of arrivals, supports their work.
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