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Innocent Voices Refugee Relief Event a Success

Gary Davidson and Sher at the ticket table

By Sher Davidson

I am thrilled to announce that our Refugee Relief Project Benefit screening of the film Innocent Voices on Saturday, March 3, followed by discussion, was a big success. We sold out all seats, plus received several generous donations. Ticket holders stayed for a very stimulating and informative discussion with our honored guests, Oscar Torres, the film’s screenwriter, and Luis Mandoki, the film’s director.

Several immigration attorneys from California also attended the event and one, Merissa Montes, guest from the Loyola University Immigrant Justice Clinic, spoke about the urgent need for all migrants seeking refugee status to have legal counsel and how hard that is. Montes, who teaches at Loyola University, offers pro bono services to migrants, many of them children from Central America and Mexico as young as five years old.

After the film was shown, 68 people who had purchased tickets attended a follow-up cocktail reception at Restaurante Bacco and enjoyed conversation with Latin American Relief Fund board members and the guest speakers. Most important was the opportunity to network and exchange ideas on how to move forward to help migrants and refugees, and how to affect changes in policies in both Mexico and the United States.

Event proceeds allowed us to pay rent and some utilities for the ABBA house in Celaya through the end of 2018. ABBA provides a temporary safe haven for immigrants passing through the area, usually on their way further north. However, it has begun to assist newly-deported Mexicans who find themselves in the country without resources, family, and without Mexican legal papers.

We hope to offer more services for the migrants that pass through there, such as legal clinics which help them understand their rights and how to apply for asylum in Mexico and the US.

Those wishing to assist our project or become sustaining donors can contact davidsonsher@icloud.com or use PayPal, entering that email address and choosing “I would like to donate to the RR Group for ABBA.” Click on send money now. You can also go to our website: latinamericanrelieffund.org

 

 

 

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