Immigration Attorney Travel Fund

My son, Joe Cassidy-Schaffer, is now a practicing immigration attorney with The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, New York. He will be traveling to Dilley, Texas next month to assist women and children in the South Texas Family Residential Center, the country’s largest immigrant family detention center. He’s doing this independently. Joe and my daughter-in-law, Heather, are covering all expenses out of their own pockets. Joe’s expenses will include air travel to Houston, transportation to and around Dilley, lodging, and meals. I’m launching a GoFundMe drive to cover those expenses. 

In Dilley, Joe and his team will meet with detained women and children to evaluate their claims of fear of returning to their home countries. If they are able to officially represent a detainee, they will prepare written motions and applications, or physically appear on their behalf in on-site immigration court proceedings. If they are unable to officially represent the detainee, they will provide advice and counsel as to what to expect during the immigration process and possible court proceedings ahead. The specific day-to-day focus can change weekly with new executive orders, written opinions by the Attorney General, court decisions, and other administrative guidance. 

As a mom, I cannot imagine the plight of those parents. Having to flee my home, despite the risks, to get my children out of a desperate situation is beyond comprehension. Worse yet would be the horror of being separated from my children upon arrival in the place I felt might be our last best hope. And imagining the terror of my children alone in a strange place with strange people is more horrifying than I can put into words. My darkest nightmare is nothing compared to the reality those parents and children are facing. I couldn’t be more grateful that Joe and others who care so deeply are doing this work every day.  

Any contribution, no matter how small, will be helpful and appreciated. If you prefer to write a check directly to The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, New York to get the tax deduction, please write “immigration program” on the memo line and add a sticky note saying “for Joe’s Texas trip”. Give me a shout offline and I can give you more details. However; GoFundMe contributions will be most efficient. Any funds collected beyond our goal will go directly to the Legal Aid immigration program in Rochester. 

As I launch my first GoFundMe campaign, Joe and Heather are celebrating their second wedding anniversary. They could pay off Joe’s crazy student loans more quickly if he practiced a different kind of law, but this has been Joe’s razor focus from the beginning. The least I can do it try to help them ward off more debt. My gratitude is over-the-moon for Joe, Heather (who will be in the classroom with her elementary art students while Joe is in Texas), and all who do what they can to make things right in the world. And I’m grateful to you for considering this.
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    • $100 
    • 34 mos
  • Denise True 
    • $75 
    • 35 mos
  • Becca Camarda 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
  • Diane Lee 
    • $50 
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  • Christina Martin 
    • $50 
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Karen True 
Kirkland, WA
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