Legal assistance for asylum seekers

$5,385 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 55 people in 14 months
What is happening at our border is not a partisan issue - it is a clear human rights issue. Although an Executive Order stops the separation of families, there is nothing that notes if and how the thousands of children who have already been separated will be reunited with their parents. Further, the prosecutions are not going to stop and families will continue to be detained, so this work is more important than ever. 

If you're as horrified and outraged as I am and want to do something about it, please join me in supporting the Southern California Immigration Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in San Diego. Founded by an incredible immigration attorney, Elizabeth Lopez, SCIP is dedicated to delivering services to survivors of human rights violations by providing pro bono and low bono legal services to immigrants. 

My family recently got to know Elizabeth and witnessed her impact first-hand while advocating for an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Fearing for their lives, this woman (she is referred to as Ms. L in court documents) and her six year old daughter fled violence in the DRC and arrived in Brazil last May. They spent 6 months walking (yes, walking!) from Brazil to the U.S.-Mexico border. Following the rules of seeking asylum, Ms. L and her daughter crossed the border at the San Diego port of entry on November 1, 2017. 

When officers separated them, the woman “could hear her daughter in the next room frantically screaming that she wanted to remain with her mother,” according to the lawsuit. “No one explained to Ms. L. why they were taking her daughter away from her or where her daughter was going or even when she would next see her daughter.”

Her daughter was sent to a group home in Chicago and spent her seventh birthday, frightened and confused, among strangers.

After spending four months in the Otay Mesa Detention Center (without access to a lawyer for the first three months), Ms. L was released and stayed with my parents until the ACLU could arrange for them to be reunited in Chicago ten days later. During her time with my parents, Ms. L recounted horror stories of a frightening and dangerous journey through Central America, being shackled in the detention center, and only being able to speak with her daughter over the phone for a mere 20 minutes total each week. 

You can read more about the case here: 

The New York Times 
Chicago Tribune 
ACLU vs. ICE Notice of Motion for Class Certification 

There is so much work that needs to be done, both ethically and legally, for thousands of immigrants. On the legal front, lawyers like Elizabeth (who, by the way, was named the KPBS Community Hero  last year) are working tirelessly to create a fair and humane immigration process, one that respects human dignity and does not traumatize children by ripping them away from their parents. That trauma is irreparable. 

Please consider this important cause. Your contribution will go directly to supporting the attorneys' time for their pro bono work and associated legal fees that their clients are unable to afford.
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Thank you so much for donating to the Southern California Immigration Project. Your support has helped Elizabeth continue to provide pro bono and low bono services to asylum seekers in need of navigating the opportunity for a new and productive life in the U.S.

As the crisis at the border intensifies, attorneys are working tirelessly to ensure a fair, just, and humane immigration process for asylum seekers. 2,679 migrants have already arrived in Tijuana and another 6,985 are expected to arrive. Mexican authorities estimate that people could have up to one year or more waiting in Tijuana for their turn to seek asylum.

SCIP serves more than 40 cases per year. Each case costs approximately $6,500 to cover attorney’s time, interpreter services, and transportation to the detention center in Calexico, 120 miles from San Diego. Recognizing the incredible amount of legal work put into their cases, many clients give what they can to SCIP after they have gainful employment. However, the full costs of low bono and pro bono work are difficult to cover.

This #GivingTuesday (November 27th) please consider continuing to support the efforts of the Southern California Immigration Project and sharing the opportunity with others who might be so inclined to give. Every act of generosity counts, and each means even more when we give together.

The Southern California Immigration Project is so grateful for your support and we wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season. Thank you!

“I have never received such kindness from a stranger like I received from Elizabeth Lopez [founder of SCIP]. She visited me in the detention center almost every week for nine months and helped me win asylum. Because of her, my life has changed from living in fear to living without fear, and from feeling worthless to being a valuable person.” - Yonas, immigrant from Eritrea
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Thanks to all who have supported the Southern California Immigration Project thus far. Every dollar counts and your contributions are ensuring that Elizabeth and her team can continue this critical work.

Ms. L was featured in a New York Times article yesterday. Please take a few minutes to read about her harrowing journey and trauma, and the work of attorneys like Elizabeth and the ACLU who are working around the clock to reunite families. Here's the article: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/02/magazine/inside-the-aclus-war-on-trump.html

There is a long road ahead and those serving our justice system need to be supported. Please share this campaign with others who might be interested in supporting. Thank you!
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$5,385 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 55 people in 14 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Southern California Immigration Project
Certified Charity
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San Diego, CA
EIN: 811729490
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
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