HIAS Delegation Journal, Day 4: A Memorable Day at the Shelter

Shelter day. We met with immigrants who had suffered as a result of the MPP program. One after the next, they came in one to seek legal assistance with their cases. I took information and helped people determine the next steps in their case.

The first people I met with were a family of three from Honduras. They had a little girl, couldn’t have been more than a couple years old. They were so sweet and so ready to accept help after all they had been through in their home country and on their way to the US. As part of the MPP program, they had spent months living in Tijuana even though they were involved in immigration court proceedings in San Diego. The people I met with were released into San Diego with ankle monitors after their most recent hearing. This family was moving to the east coast, so I helped them prepare a Motion to Change Venue and instructed them on what their paperwork meant since they didn’t speak nor read English.

The second family I met with was a father and son. The father had the kindest eyes but they were so sad. I welcomed him to the US and he smiled. I told him I was an attorney there to help him take necessary next steps in his case. He told me about how he and his son had spent over 2 months living in Tijuana. They had traveled from Honduras to get the United States but because of the MPP program, they were placed in immigration court proceedings to apply for relief while they waited outside the US. He told me that while they waited in Tijuana, he had gotten a bed at a shelter for his son. The shelter didn’t have enough space for him, so he would sleep on the street and then pick his son up each morning. We finished his venue change paperwork and said farewell. I wished him the best of luck and again, welcomed him to the US. I told him we were happy to have him and his son here.