Lantern Community Services unreservedly condemns the discriminatory targeting of immigrants in the January 27th, 2017 Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”, and the January 25th, 2017 Executive Orders “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” and “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”
We are concerned that these Orders will have a negative impact on our staff, on our clients, and on our effectiveness as a non-profit whose mission is to serve people impacted by homelessness in New York City.
Our staff is diverse, and we’re proud of that. Embracing diversity is written into our core values. As a non-profit serving one of the most diverse cities in the world, our diversity is part of what makes us effective. When we speak our clients’ languages, and share their cultures and religions, we serve them better. These Orders will make some of our staff worried for themselves and their families, and risks making it harder for us to recruit and retain a diverse staff, to deliver on our mission.
Our clients are also diverse, and we are worried for them. We serve over 2,000 New Yorkers who have been homeless or have aged out of foster care, and most of them live with special needs. Helped by our stable housing and high quality social services, we see them changing their lives, integrating into their communities with dignity and independence. For those among our clients who are not US citizens, who are Muslim, who are Mexican, who have been immigrants or refugees, these Orders bring stress and uncertainty, jeopardizing their health, well-being, and recovery.
Finally, as an organization that has worked for over twenty years tackling homelessness in our city, we note that refugees suffer a very particular form of homelessness and stand with them, in our belief that everyone should have a home.
Lantern calls for the revocation of these Orders, and re-commits to pursuing our mission to protect and champion the rights of New Yorkers impacted by homelessness.