South African Asylum Applicants

A South African husband and wife fled the country with their son and daughter.  They were unable to get visitor's visa to the US, but they did manage to get visas to Mexico.  On January 15, 2019 they approached the US-Mexico border to apply for asylum.  They were stopped by Mexican officials who directed them to a transition camp in Matamoros, Mexico, where they remained for over three weeks, waiting for their turn to apply.  Finally their turn was up and they were taken in by US Customs and Border Protection.  They were given credible fear interviews by CBP, which included a two-hour grilling of the teenage daughter.  Finally, after three days on February 9, 2019, they were released on parole into the United States so they could apply for asylum in front of an immigration judge.  Their first preliminary hearing (a "Master Calendar") is set for Feb 20.

They fled South Africa because the government is getting read to seize their farm.  Officials had come to their farm to take an inventory of everything they own.  They were told that every item on the inventory list must still be on the farm at the time it is formally seized.  Their farm and possessions are being seized because they are white.

The family's money was in the farm, which they are unable to sell.  They fled to the US with nothing but their clothes.  They spent all their remaining cash on the journey to Mexico.  Right now they are staying with a friend, but he cannot support them for long.  We will be applying for employment authorization for the parents, but it could be months before the employment authorization is approved.  They need money for all cost of living: housing, food, utilities, transportation, etc.  The amount of money requested should get them through a few months until they get be legally authorized to work.  

I am the attorney for the case.  I am doing the case pro bono until and including the Individual Hearing (the trial).  The money is not for legal expenses.  It is for basic support for this family until they can be authorized to work.

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Organizer 


Laurel Scott 
Organizer
Hillsborough, NH
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