You can help an asylum seeker!
UPDATE February 2020:
It is with heavy hearts that we share with you this update: Roberto's* original bond was revoked by a judge after a motion was filed by the government. He was taken into custody by ICE and sent to a detention center in Washington.
This is a heartbreaking setback. While we knew going into this project that something like this could happen, it doesn’t diminish the frustration, sadness, anxiety, and all the other emotions we are navigating. But, this is only part of the story. Our work is not over yet, there is still hope. We are working with an attorney to request a new bond hearing, and secure Roberto's* release back to Boise while he continues to work on his asylum case. We anticipate a new bond will be higher than the last and are continuing our fundraising efforts. Please keep sharing this campaign in your networks, every donation helps!
What a blessing that Roberto* has such strong support from from our church community and from dedicated supporters like you, as he works through all the aspects of his asylum process. We are committed to continuing that support and all our efforts to advocate for justice, compassion, and human dignity in this broken and inhumane system.
(Additional details posted in updates)
UPDATE January 2020:
Freedom is such a gift. A gift the lives at the core of this country's values and at the core of our Unitarian Universalist values. And yet, the true gift of freedom often disappears when it comes to others who so desperately seek it to live lives in safety and security.
Roberto*, the LGBTQ asylum seeker we have been supporting is free. We were able to successfully post bond and get him out of detention. Roberto* flew to Boise with our Minister, Rev. Sara, on December 21st and he has been settling in well. The whole endeavor truly felt like a miracle to all of us. Roberto* is thrilled with his new home and grateful for all the generous hearts of the people here. Thank you for making this possible, we could not have done it without your generous support. There are not enough words to contain the joy our church community feels right now!
This is what the interdependent web looks like. We are all connected, all a part of this larger story of human goodness, all part of this human family. We draw the circle wide, wide enough that no one is left outside. Wide enough that no one stands alone. This is how we share our saving message of love.
We will continue to keep this page active for now to help cover living expenses and likely additional medical care needs.
*Alias used to protect asylum seeker's safety & identity
Last November, we became aware of Roberto*, a young, gay man from Central America who is being held in detention near the Southern border. His application for asylum is in progress, but he badly needs help to be released from detention on bond and successfully complete his legal application.
Roberto* was forced to flee his home country because of threats against his life from local gangs. He managed to escape into Mexico, but was further pursued by predatory cartels, captured, beaten and tortured, and saw his partner killed in front of him. He ultimately escaped and was able to make his way to the Southern border and apply for asylum. He has been held in U.S. detention for many months. There is a strong possibility that, with your assistance, we can help him be released on bond and pursue his application for asylum while living with a host family here in Boise, Idaho. Can you make a donation to help Roberto* get through the asylum process?
Who Are We?
A team of Immigrant Justice leaders at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (in Idaho) has worked for months to develop a program for hosting an asylum seeking family or person. We have brought together community organizations and built a comprehensive support program that will allow an asylum seeker to live safely while going through the legal hurdles of being granted asylum. Members of our team have volunteered to be legal sponsors and provide housing. We have built relationships with physical and mental health providers, language teachers, and employment counselors. And we have put together a group of volunteer drivers, interpreters, and general helpers. Our community wholeheartedly supports the rights of asylum seekers, and we are ready to help Roberto* when he arrives in Boise, Idaho.
Where Will Your Money Go?
Initial funds raised were used to cover the cost of the bond set at $12,000. All Additional funds will be used to cover the costs of legal services, health care, housing, transportation, food, and other necessities for Roberto* to make a successful transition to life in the U.S.
Our fellowship is committed to the ongoing support of asylum seekers in desperate need at the Southern border and in detention. Funds raised beyond Roberto's* needs will be used for potential additional asylum seekers and/or distributed to community and national partners working with asylum seekers.
If you would rather send a donation offline, you can mail a check to Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 6200 Garrett, Boise, Idaho 83714 and write "Asylum Seekers" in the memo line.
Thanks to a generous challenge grant from Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility the first $2,000 we raised will be matched!