Despite the current challenges our country is facing surrounding COVID-19, Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (IRIS) remains dedicated to providing services to refugees, immigrants, and asylees. Since the middle of March, our staff has practiced social distancing measures by assisting clients remotely via telephone and video. While our office is closed to the public until further notice, we will continue offering legal and resettlement services to those in our network. Since the placement of refugees has been postponed until the end of April, our attention will be directed towards clients currently present in this country. We are also closely working with the Ecumenical Collaboration of Asylum Seekers (ECAS) to secure the health and safety of vulnerable detainees by ensuring their release from Adelanto, a privately operated immigration detention center in San Bernardino County.
Clients are welcome to schedule appointments for regular services by calling or e-mailing our office. Staff can also be contacted during normal business hours by their distinct e-mails and extensions. We encourage our clients to connect with tech-savvy family members to access telecommunication services such as Zoom. Anyone needing to apply for citizenship, DACA renewals, green cards or other assistance must call our office at 323.667.0489 to register for services. We will be serving clients online until further notice.
In order to care for our neighbors effectively, IRIS encourages everyone to take safety and wellness recommendations seriously. Please continue to practice social distancing by maintaining good hygiene and limiting outside exposure as much as possible. Let’s also continue to pray for everyone’s safety, especially essential workers in hospitals and stores. IRIS sends its love, positivity, and warmth to everyone. We will come out of this stronger than ever before.
Meghan Taylor is executive director of IRIS (Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Service), a ministry of the Diocese of Los Angeles.