The following seven stories highlight the hardships and inhumane conditions asylum seekers, who are subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols and metering practices, have endured. CLINIC’s team at the Estamos Unidos: Asylum Project have provided support and services to the asylum seekers since the summer, ranging from know your rights presentations, translation of asylum-related documents, securing of pro bono counsel and general accompaniment to uphold their dignity.
Rosaries are frequently among the belongings that make it to the U.S.-Mexico border around the necks and in the pockets and hands of asylum seekers, whose journeys exemplify the confluence of fear, desperation, hope and faith. In seeing so many people carrying rosaries through their struggles, those who work at the border know that this element of faith is what helps many asylum seekers carry on through difficult journeys.
Intercambio: Uniting Communities released their latest curriculum, Confidence and Connections, to bolster relationships in the community. The resource and their Immigrant Guide: What Every Immigrant Needs to Know provide tools to create positive social change and build bridges between newcomers and the receiving community.
On a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, I visited the San Felipe de Jesus parish in Brownsville, Texas, led by Marist priest Father Tony O’Connor, whose work includes assisting unaccompanied minors. There, I met dedicated lay and religious workers and volunteers, all helping asylum seekers on both sides of the border.
CLINIC affiliate Latin American Coalition has organized Día de Muertos / Day of the Dead each year, in partnership with a local museum, to provide Charlotte’s diverse community an opportunity to commemorate, honor and celebrate those who have died.
Ugandan woman died while waiting to ask for asylum. Her friends seek help to send her body home to her family.
As we wrap up Hispanic Heritage Month, I sat down with Brenda Hernandez and Graciela ‘Grace’ Mateo, two of CLINIC’s Latina staffers, to learn more about the work they do and how their heritage has inspired them to work in immigration.
Religious Immigration Services Director Miguel Naranjo documented his experience visiting with religious and immigrant communities in El Paso and Hatch, NM. He shares his reflections as part of a photo journal.
Growing up in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, Fr. Jose Ruiz, known as Pepe, never realized how complicated getting a U.S. visa could be. Following his naturalization ceremony last year, he reflects on his immigration journey, the important role CLINIC staff had on his success and what’s next.
The Lafayette Urban Ministry Immigration Clinic has become one of the few affiliates in CLINIC’s 380+ network to obtain initial partial accreditation for five or more volunteers at one time. The mighty five, who are team members at the program, learned they had received accreditation last April. Field Support Coordinator and Section Manager Nathaly Perez is the Latina staffer who guided and supported their trajectory to Department of Justice accreditation.