Keep This Family Together
$1,328 raised
27% of $5k goal
39 contributors
31 Days running

     My name is Andy, and I am raising money for immigration costs for my friend.  When I was in the Air Force, I served with many people from all over the world.  I also met many people from all over the world who I was not serving with, who were also some of the best people I have every met.

      Ayla is one of these people.  A mother, a humanitarian, and a great friend, Ayla is one of the few people I can talk to about the time I spent in the military.  She takes the time to teach her children to be members of their communities, and to reach out to those who need community.  She does this by setting the example for them; by helping where help is needed and putting herself out there for people to reach out to her for help.

     The importance of raising money for Ayla's immigration expenses is compounded by how she ended up in the US without status in the first place.  Having initially come here with her husband to visit his family before he immigrated to Canada to be with her, he took her documents, manipulated the situation, isolated her, and finally trapped her in this country.  Now, with two children, Ayla cannot return home with her kids without his permission, but can't stay in the country without risking deportation. She is unable to seek a divorce for fear of her ex contacting ICE and having her deported from the courtroom. I feel that it's personally my responsibility to even the scales.

     Ayla is talented, smart, and wants to be here.  She wants to be a member of the local community and we can help her by raising money to help with costs.  We can be a member of her community, and make her a member of ours, and we all win with Ayla as a member of our community. Together with other domestic violence survivors, Ayla founded The Erynis Collective, a loose association of domestic violence survivors who work together to provide support for people leaving abusive situations. She also fosters cats with a local rescue, and frequently can be counted on to show up for friends and strangers in a bind.
     The immigration process requires that she speaks with a lawyer. I'm taking her to meet with JFON tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23rd. We are raising $5000 to cover the costs of various immigration fees including a physical, background checks, records, travel and babysitting. Any excess we raise will be put back into the community through donations to community groups such as Cosecha, or JFON or be passed on to other domestic violence victims or undocumented immigrants and their families.

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