On Christmas Day 2018, working in an Annunciation House hospitality center, I was introduced to a 24-year-old Guatemalan man and his 4-month-old daughter. His daughter had diarrhea, as the formula she was given was not agreeing with her. I went out to get her different formula, while my wife enjoyed being able to play with a very happy and adorable baby. The father and I talked through a translator when I returned. He had left his hometown two months previous, approximately one month after his wife had been raped and killed by narco-traffickers. He had left the town of his birth, with his 1 month old, to travel over 2000 miles to the Texas border because he feared for his family’s life. When detained, he requested asylum.
Since that moment, I knew I wanted to work with refugees and asylum seekers. When a exploratory committee approached me to help form a Justice for our Neighbors site in El Paso, I jumped at the opportunity. I became Board Chair for Justice for Our Neighbors El Paso in the Summer of 2020, and delayed by COVID, we incorporated as a 501c3 in January of 2021. We hired our executive director in June, and our first attorney has accepted our offer, and will join our staff in late November.
It has been my priviledge to help start this organization, and I can’t wait until we begin serving clients. I appreciate any help you can give us.
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