I'm running and raising money for Central American Legal Assistance (CALA), where my dear friend, Shouan Riahi, works asa a passionate immigration lawyer.
Central American Legal Assistance (CALA), a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Brooklyn, NY, has been representing Central Americans facing deportation since 1986. They opened when civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala forced thousands of war refugees to flee the region. Since then, pervasive violence has continued to plague Central America, as transnational criminal organizations consolidate power and influence within weak governments. Their clients are under attack on all sides these days; in their home countries, by unfair immigration laws, and a current political environment that demonizes the many Central Americans (mostly women and children) fleeing home to seek refuge at our southern border.
They're small. They work out of the basement of a church on the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They don't have professional development staff and don't do fancy fundraisers, but they do represent thousands of Central American immigrants at risk of deportation to apply for Asylum, Temporary Protected Status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and other humanitarian relief. Last year alone, they appeared in court on behalf of immigrants facing removal over 700 times, and won relief from removal for over 200 people. They anticipate this year being more of a fight than ever.
I am running for CALA, for refugees, for a country where children and families are not demonized for their audacity to see the U.S. as a safe haven. Support them, support us, go TEAM CALA!