"We moved to the United States not to invade; we moved here to try to live."
Dr. Isaac Molina had a good life in Nicaragua. He had a fulfilling career as a physician, a happy family, and a country he called home. He never imagined he would leave his country.
That all changed in 2018, when protests broke out in Managua against President Ortega's government. Clashes ensued between the National Police and the protesters. As a physician and a humanitarian, Molina began providing medical attention to the protestors. Soon thereafter on his way to work, Molina was stopped by the National Police, forced to follow them in his car, and eventually shot in the abdomen and then again in the back. He managed to flee to safety at a hospital where he received surgery.
Dr. Molina has a strong case as an asylum-seeker here in the United States. Even still, he's had to deal with signficant hardship as he and his family have sought refuge here. He was separated from his wife and children upon entry into the United States, and ended up spending over 100 days in various detention centers throughout the U.S. before being released - all the while receiving poor post-surgery medical attention. Upon release, Dr. Molina moved to Birmingham, Alabama to be near relatives. ALIRP is currently supporting him while he works with his attorneys to pursue his asylum case.
Isaac is one of nine individuals or families who have been supported by ALIRP, each fleeing danger and working to build a new life in the United States.
About Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership (ALIRP)
Dr. Molina is just one story that highlights the larger refugee crisis facing our world. The Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership was formed in response to this crisis. ALIRP is a an interfaith group of religious leaders and laypersons, as well as representatives of other community groups who have come together for the purpose of helping refugees and asylum-seekers. We are located in Birmingham, Alabama. Our mission is three-fold:
Educating the community and elected officials about the current refugee crisis and the process of refugee resettlement;
Advocating for policies that address the root causes of the refugee crisis, and that increase U.S. support for refugees; and
Providing direct support for refugees and asylum-seekers in the United States and in the Birmingham community.
So far this year we have:
Directly supported 9 individuals or families seeking asylum, including organizing care teams, providing direct financial assistance, sourcing affordable housing, coordinating transportation, and facilitating legal services for asylum applications and work permits.
Sponsored four educational programs, including a virtual film night celebrating World Refugee Day last July, and a November virtual book discussion: The Ungrateful Refugee on Facebook.
Participated in a Virtual Advocacy Day last summer in partnership with asylum advocacy organizations across the country, such as the Episcopoal Migration Ministries, to talk with our legislators about issues facing asylum-seekers.
Begun efforts to launch an Alabama Immigration Attorney Network, in order to streamline access for refugees and asylum seekers to legal services in Alabama. We have also partnered with other groups beyond Alabama to create a network of organizations across the US supporting asylum-seekers.
Our organization needs your support. In 2020, 50% of our financial support came from individual donors. A volunteer-driven powered by community outreach and collaboration, we have no administrative overhead. In 2020, 85% of our budget has provided direct assistance to nine asylum seeking individuals and families we supported, including Dr. Molina.
Our goal is to raise $15,000 dollars by November 25 with the immediate goal of supporting Dr. Molina with direct expenses related to his asylum appeal. Our long-term goal is to expand our work to more asylum seekers in our community in 2021. Here are a few ways your donation can make a difference:
$50 can help buy clothing for our asylum-seeking partners
$300 can help provide food for a month
$700 can cover monthly rent
$1,000 can provide a much needed legal consultation
Since ALIRP is a registered 501(c)3, your donation is tax-deductible.
Thank you for your support and please share with those in your network. Visit us at www.alirp.org to find additional ways to get involved, such as volunteering to be a part of our care teams!
Note: All persons appearing photos/videos related to this campaign have signed media release forms allowing for their story, photo, and name to be shared for this purpose.