If you’re seeing this request it is for two reasons. First and most importantly it is because you know and love Brynna and Octavio and Leo and know what kind of giving, hardworking people they are.
Second if you’re seeing this it is because we know you’re unhappy with the current state of our country and our government, you feel the desire to resist policies being set forth by this regime and your opinions on immigration in this country are that America has been and should continue to be a beacon to ALL the world and everyone who has a dream to be part of the fabric of this society should have an opportunity to do so. Here is a unique opportunity to help some people you love and contribute to the fight against conservative regressivism.
Brynna and Octavio are currently making a case for Octavio with immigration. This process is lengthy, stressful and expensive. They’ve begun the process but in order to complete it they’re going to need some financial support. Between legal fees and the eventual return trip to Mexico (where Tavi will have to go for a few weeks or up to a couple of months if his immigration is approved. The process requires that he go back to Mexico to complete the paperwork and return to the country with his legal status green card) it is going to be, best estimate $15,000.
Brynna and Tavi work incredibly hard for their family- everyone in the family- and continue to do so but have been, unfortunately, not spared from economic woes. Shortly after their marriage, Tavi was admitted to the hospital under emergent circumstances for diverticulitis- a diagnosis that required a lengthy hospital stay and some expensive procedures to correct. As his full time job did not provide him any insurance and he was not eligible for Badger Care the entire cost of a multiple week hospital stay fell upon them. Though they have received some financial assistance from the hospital, that did not take care of the full balance and they remain under the weight of more than $40k in hospital debt. Additionally, though Tavi is working three jobs and Brynna is working half time as well they have all the usual young family expenses…car difficulties, care for Leo and daily living expenses. They live as economically as they can and are keeping their heads above water but are unable to gain enough momentum to have the fees associated with the legal process readily available. Most lawyers working with the immigration process require full payment up front.
Brynna and Tavi are not asking for you to help them. I am asking for you to help them. I love my sister and brother-in-law very much. I aspire to their levels of greatness, selflessness and expressions of love for each other and their family and friends.
Brynna cares for Leo when she’s not at work and is consistently in eco-warrior mode. She has turned junk into art and a budding secondary career attempt, making beautiful and creative household items out of recycled cloth and plastic products for sale locally and (coming soon) at an Etsy shop. She still finds time to do everything from running her household to volunteering at the Columbus High School, assisting Frank and his classmates in choreographing their upcoming spring musical.
Tavi works three jobs with hours equivalent to two full-time jobs. He often goes long stretches of time without a full day off and is still ALWAYS the first to pitch in, helping me to move furniture at my house… helping with yard work…helping with my kids…helping mom and dad with renovations at their (and everyone who knows Bob Moberg in retirement knows that there have been A LOT of really wonderful home renovation and yard renovation projects). Tavi is on his feet from sunup to sundown and when he’s not at work or helping his family he’s doting on Leo or shooing people out of the kitchen at home or at mom and dad’s, caring for his family with his amazing cooking when he could and should be relaxing. The amount of time, effort and love that Brynna and Tavi put into their family and everyone whose world is lucky enough to touch theirs is inspiring.
I am hoping that those of you who know and love them agree with me and will help to any small degree that you can. I know financial futures are uncertain for many at this time in our country. It is a daunting task to consider a $15K price tag but this is of vital importance to a family we all love.
Without the legal help to ensure the process runs with every t crossed and i dotted, the risk is very real that Tavi faces deportation. If his request is denied he will have no choice but to return to Mexico and it will be a minimum of 10 years before he even has the opportunity to be considered for legal entry into the country again. That means, in addition to the stress of raising the money to do this, simply the act of doing it is a tremendous leap of faith for Brynna and Tavi. If Tavi fails to secure a green card the only choices they will have left will be to decide whether Leo is raised in America by Brynna alone while Tavi lives out his tenure of exile in Mexico without his wife and son; or whether Brynna, Leo and Tavi move to Mexico together and Leo is raised without the benefit of his extended family’s proximity for love and support. Many of you may be surprised to learn that policy changes over the last couple of decades mean that green card safety is no longer guaranteed by virtue of either marriage to an American citizen or by birth of a baby with American citizenship. This process is fraught with uncertainty, stress and complications at every turn and yet Brynna and Tavi continue to walk in faith and navigate these very muddy waters with grace, dignity and a sense of humor in addition to their sense of duty and love to each other and everyone lucky enough to be family or friend to them. Can you help?
Every donation in love, large or small, gets them closer to being on secure footing with legal status for Tavi in this country so they can continue to be an exemplary all-American family, displaying the virtues this country holds dear in terms of hard work, determination and also compassion and loving their neighbors as themselves. Attached to this letter is a link to a GoFundMe page. Please feel free to share this with people you know as well, if you’re so moved, but please consider carefully who it is you’re sharing this with and share only with people who, if they can’t help, won’t harm through thoughtless actions or nationalistic zealotry.
All my love and gratitude to you for reading this, prayerfully considering how to help Brynna, Tavi and Leo, and keeping them in your prayers as they move toward legal immigration status for Tavi. Thank you!
- Ben Ratliffe
- sarah gary
- Peter Aarestad
- Frances DeGraff
- Christian Clayton-Wilson
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