By Lawrence Benito
This has been a year of tremendous suffering for immigrants, refugees and many vulnerable communities. Hateful rhetoric, harmful and cruel policies and laws, barbaric physical abuses. Entire countries and populations have been disparaged.
Children have been ripped from the arms of their parents and separated for months on end in inhumane conditions. The pain inflicted on immigrants and refugees is real and the effects will be long lasting, and in many cases irreparable. ICIRR’s work is needed now more than ever.
In the face of all this adversity and the constant onslaught of negativity, it is encouraging to be reminded of the difference that ICIRR and our partner organizations are making in the lives of so many thanks to support we receive from donors like you.
One of those lives belongs to Lalo. Facing gang extortion and violence in his native Guatemala, Lalo made the difficult decision to leave his home and seek safety in the United States. After making the arduous and perilous journey through Mexico, he was detained by ICE and his troubles soon became unthinkably worse. After collapsing at the detention center, he was diagnosed with an advanced case of thyroid cancer.
Defying orders from immigration officials, Lalo’s doctor reached out to ICIRR’s Family Support Network to see if they could help. ICIRR was able to connect Lalo with a local immigration attorney and he has since been granted asylum in the United States where he is safe from the likely gang retribution and inadequate medical care he would face in Guatemala.
While Lalo still has an uphill battle, medically, socially and legally, his circumstances are undoubtedly better than the prospects he faced in Guatemala. Thanks to the support and assistance that ICIRR and our partners have been able to build and sustain in our community, Lalo and thousands of other immigrants and refugees are getting the assistance they need to live and thrive in our great country.
As a valuable supporter of our work in the past, you have been instrumental in allowing us to help immigrants and refugees in Illinois. But there is so much more to be done, and we can’t do it without you. During this holiday season, we hope you will consider a gift to ICIRR so we can continue our vital work. Please make a gift today by clicking below. On behalf of all of ICIRR and all those we serve, thank you and happy holidays.
Chief Executive Officer