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Local way to help immigrant families reunite

Friday, June 29, 2018 Leave a Comment

Did you know that around 50 parents are still being held locally in an Aurora ICE detention facility and separated from their children? [ The Denver Channel |  | CBS News | Fox News ]

Are you as frustrated and heartbroken by the news every day as we are? Looking for a way to help?

Casa de Paz is a local nonprofit trying to help reunite these families with their children. This was brought to our attention by a post on Nextdoor. Huge thanks to Stapleton resident Sandra Caron for sharing. Per the post:
They need donations for legal assistance (bond money) for $20 phone cards, etc. any amount is welcome to this non profit organization who helps the women before during and after release . They do not charge the women anything.

We understand the fear, anxiety, total terror of both mothers and young children who have been separated without any knowledge of where their children are being detained.

Please consider a donation and share this with your loved ones. You can donate directly through the Casa de Paz website. Just include a note "family reunification" http://www.casadepazcolorado.org/donate

Thanks to any of you who can help with a donation, no matter how small. It will all help.

Westword interviewed Casa de Paz staff about the only mother to so far be reunited with her 7-year-old daughter. Called only "Maria" in the interview, her story is horrific:
Maria is from Guatemala and was in a really bad situation. She escaped her husband, who tried to kill her. And the reason her husband tried to kill her is because, when she was sixteen, Maria was kidnapped and raped for three months straight by a man in his forties who had HIV. So now she has HIV. And later, when she married her husband, he knew that she had HIV and was okay with it. No one else in the little village they lived in knew about it. But then somehow word got out. And the husband was getting a lot of embarrassing ridicule and shame for having a wife with HIV. And so people in this village started harassing him, and he decided that the best way to get rid of this problem was by killing Maria. That's when he tried to kill her.

There are so many stories like Maria's. So many families fleeing violence and terror only to be ripped apart in the place they hoped to find sanctuary.

A local pastor included several stories from these refugees last Sunday, including this piece, which moved the congregation to tears.

Warsan Shire (pronounced “she-ray”) is a Somali-British writer and poet in her 20s.  She wrote a poem called Home that provides a compelling answer to the question “why would you do that.” [ bring your family to any country as a refugee ] This is an excerpt [ whole poem here ]: 
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark

no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father

no one could take it
no one could stomach it

the shouts
“go home” blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
[beggars] with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up…

how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs

maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child’s body
in pieces.

i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore

i dont know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.

[ listen to the whole poem ]

no one puts their children in a boat 
unless the water is safer than the land