HIAS Delegation Journal, Day 3: A Beautiful Place Where Awful Policies are Harming Immigrants

Today we spent the day at the JFS offices. I was assigned a case wherein the clients were in a very interesting position. It was a mother and her children. The children had a USC father. Based on the circumstances, the children were actually U.S. citizens. Ironically, they were also in immigration court proceedings. At this point, the U.S. was in the process of trying to remove U.S. Citizens from the United States. I met with the clients to discuss their case and sign forms. The mom brought two of her 4 children with her and as we were meeting, the kids played sweetly on the floor with toys and patiently waited for their mother to finish her meeting.

That evening, we went to La Jolla. Most of the group had never been there, including myself. We visited this gorgeous place close to sunset and were struck by its beauty. We saw harbor seals and sea lions. There were adorable babies of each. I took as many photos as I could. There was a ledge that extended into the ocean, and I stood out there a while enjoying the sunset and watching the waves crash against the rocks. It was striking to me in that moment that I could be in such a stunning place, that was a mere 30 or so minutes from where immigrant families are stuck at the border forced to risk the danger involved to get to the United States to seek asylum to ensure the safety of their families.

Thursday we had planned to attend a hearing and shadow JFS court appearances. However, the shelter got a huge and unexpected influx of people and we were asked to assist with legal intake. We unanimously agreed.