the Cortes family from 120 Days
If you've seen the film, you know that the Corteses are the family of focus. They were a hard-working, productive, immigrant family living in Raleigh, NC before being split up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement a few years ago. More info on the situation and film at: www.120DaysMovie.com.
My wife and I have been helping their youngest daughter, Saydrel, get into college in Morelia, Mexico, where she would like to pursue a career in helping disabled children. She did very well on her placement tests recently and was accepted in the fall of 2015. So the whole family would like to move back to Morelia and secure their house so she can attend in a safe environment. They do have a house there, but it doesn't have floors or a secure fence (pictures attached). This is why we are raising money, to finish the house and create educational opportunities for both of their daughters.
This money will all go directly to the Corteses, except for the GoFundMe fee which is about 6%. This first money will all go towards the house finishing costs (floors, a fence, secure doors and locks). This will cost around $5000. Then we would like to create an educational account for the girls. Only Saydrel is currently in school, but we want to encourage Yael to return as well. We personally have provided tuition for 2015 and a laptop computer, and will continue to help along with any contributions you decide to make.
After spending 4 months with the family and documenting their last days together in the States, I feel very strongly that these people did not deserve to be first torn apart, then forced back to the country they fled over a decade ago. Once I got to know the Corteses and understood why they tried to make a life in the US for their daughters, it reminded me of the same reasons that brought my own Irish forefathers over generations ago.
Miguel and Maria Luisa are ineligible for any legal way to come back to the US where their girls were raised and educated. There is no "line to get into," so the only legal course of action is to help them try to achieve their shattered American dreams back in their home country of Mexico. I want them to have hope and opportunities, both of which are currently hard for them to find. And I personally want to see them rewarded for being courageous enough to stand up and show us all what it means to be undocumented immigrants in the United States today, at great risk to themselves and their extended family.
The Corteses and I would be very thankful for any donations you feel able to contribute. I will continue to post updates and new photos throughout this fundraising effort because I want you to see the money being put to good use. Here's a few pics we just received from Saydrel on a recent class trip to a children's neuromusculoskeletal disorders hospital:
We also have plans to try to get Saydrel accepted into a US university for the fall of 2016, so there will be updates on this effort as well. Your help is greatly appreciated, and will honestly give one loving, tight-knit family hope for a better future.
Thanks for your time and consideration, and please email me if you have any questions.
Hope all are having a great summer! Thank you very much for your donations and help, and I thought you'd like to hear an update on the Corteses and their recent progress. Saydrel sent me her 2nd quarter report card from the University of Morelia, which showed all 10's and one 9 in a variety of psychology and other science classes. Outstanding work Saydrel, congrats! Yael will be starting career training in cosmetology soon, and is taking a trial class this summer before choosing her school and specialty. Both have emailed me many thanks to send back to you for these opportunities. On the home front, Miguel has finished the exterior security wall/fence around their house, and completed some of the flooring inside as well. I'm attaching some pictures below and also in a separate post. Our donations have provided these materials, and Miguel has done all the work himself. You have also contributed to tuition, school supplies, food and necessities. Maria Luisa and Miguel always end their emails with thanks to all those who have reached out to help. We greatly appreciate your support and interest, and look forward to sending more updates in a few weeks. Please feel free to email me with any questions, as always.
Thank you very much,
Ted Roach and the Cortes family
Ted, Leah, and all the cast and crew
I was so heartbroken after watching this documentary. I posted the story to Facebook and got immediate negative feedback from the conservative folks who couldn't be bothered to watch it but were all too happy to reply with nasty, negative invective. Nevertheless, I have told the story to my friends and have forwarded the Go Fund Me information to everyone I know in the hopes that more funds could flow to them. My husband and I donated our Christmas fund to the Cortes family and hope that it will help them a little. The immigration policy we have in United States is simply evil. The Cortes family should be held as an example of the kinds of people we WANT to invite to this country. And we need a clearer path to legalization of residents and a right to citizenship. Something has gotta give. Thank you to the producers of "120 Days". The story must be told.
Thank you so much for doing this Ted. My family has known the Corteses for many years. We miss them terribly and are disheartened by the updates Maria Luisa's mom gives us. It was so good to see Saydrel's face in the photos. Too much time has passed and I'm glad to see a glimpse of their life in Mexico.
My heart goes out to Miguel and his family. Thank you for doing this documentary, puts names and faces to these families... They are an absolutely beautiful family. He, Maria Luisa, and girls are in my thoughts today. As a mother of two daughters, it touched me see parents just doing what they could to help their children succeed.
I'll donate what I can at the end of the month, it won't be very much, but as they say "every little bit helps." I too struggle to make ends meet on a part-time, biweekly income. For me the Cortes family represents the 'salt of the earth,' a basic, fundamental goodness, people who are thoroughly decent. Miguel did not deserve to be thrown out of the United States. Americans could learn a thing or two from good people like the Cortes family. I hope to God that they and the many thousands of decent hardworking families like Cortes family, find security, peace and happiness somewhere in this world, despite the very unpleasant, hideous, sick and twisted unjust world that we have which is in a perpetual state of war, with people who don't deserve to be mistreated and countries around the world. I feel positive the earth is struggling to sustain life on our planet as well. Buena suerte, y que Dios bendiga a su familia siempre. And thank you so much Mr. Roach.