I have the mother's permission to share her story and photos. Mica and her three young daughters entered the shelter several months ago. The family is here seeking asylum in the United States. The father is a policeman back in Mexico, and was kidnapped on the way to work by drug cartels. He was severely beaten, had both kneecaps and multiple bones broken, and is lucky to have survived. Because the family couldn't pay the ransom he was released, but then the threats began. The cartels called his home and threatened horrific things to his wife and daughters. Eventually, the father deemed it unsafe to stay and took the family to the U.S. border to ask for help and safety.
The family was separated and placed in an immigration detention center in Calexico, California. After a few days Mica and the girls were flown to another detention center in Texas, and eventually made their way to the Seattle area because she has a family member here.
Mica checks in with immigration each month, and is scheduled for a hearing in front of a judge the end of May. We are working hard to find her pro bono legal services, but haven't been successful so far.
The girl's father however, has been in an immigration detention center for the last 6 months. He had a bond hearing this week, and his bond was set at $3,000.00 The family has no resources and this is like a million dollars to them. If he can post bond, he can join the family in Seattle. He will stay with a church and the mother and girls will remain at the shelter until their court hearings.
I had a heartbreaking talk with the mom last night using Google Translate; how difficult it was to explain that her partner may not be released and will probably be deported in April if he can't post bond. I am not naive. I know what is happening each day in this political climate. Good, hard working people are turning up to work, calling the police, or going to school and they are being deported. I told the mother this, and that we are going to expect the best in her case, but prepare for the worst.
My goal is to raise $4,000.00. This will cover the father's bond, airfare to Seattle, and provide a little money as he gets settled. Once he is here, we have been told that the family can apply again together for pro bono legal services, and have a much better chance of an attorney taking their case (they can't represent him while he is in California).
I don't know if ultimately we can keep this family in the U.S., but I have to know that I tried to do everything that I could legally do. And family reunification gives them the best chance to be safe. I fear for their lives if they are deported to Mexico.
The timeline is short-we have to raise the funds by Monday February 19th. Would you please consider giving what you can, and if you cannot give I would appreciate you sharing this post, and sending good thoughts and prayers to this family in need. The oldest daughter age 11 just ran into my office and said, "Kimberly, you are so beautiful for trying to help my mom and dad. I love you." To say that I am grateful for your assistance in helping this family is inadequate.
Thank you so much.
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