Local Groups Raising Funds to Help Local Asylum Seekers

Centro del Pueblo and Cooperation Humboldt create GoFundMe page for Salvadorian sisters

Cooperation Humboldt has formed a partnership with activist group Centro del Pueblo to help support a pair of sisters from El Salvador who have recently arrived in Eureka on asylum status.

Based in Eureka, Cooperation Humboldt held the meeting in the basement of its base of operations on Aug. 28 to inform the public of the situation and to seek out additional resources. Currently, the sisters are being housed by members of the public, but are unable to legally work due to legal barriers from their asylum status. 

“This is not something that is going away fast. We are going to need support for a long time…”

Brenda Perez

As such, the two groups have created a GoFundMe page to help offset the cost of housing in order to support them. Tamara McFarland, Food Program Coordinator for Cooperation Humboldt, said that the sisters “have to wait anywhere between six to nine months” while the asylum application is processed. The proceeds can be applied to anything from meals and clothing, to the mandatory trips they have to take to court hearings regarding their immigration status.

Ruby Aguirre, Organizer for Centro del Pueblo, wants to start looking beyond the crowdfunding attempts for future migrants who may come to the area.

“How can we have a funnel of support to help provide for those migrants as opposed to having to reach out on GoFundMe?” she said. 

Part of what they want in that funnel is more help from the public. Brenda Perez, Organizer for Centro del Pueblo, explained what the public could do, including medical help, legal advice and even just outdoor activities.

“By using recreational activities like hikes to get them out of the house,” Perez said. “We can help prevent them from feeling like they are back in detention centers.” This plays into a need to independence that they may be feeling while waiting for a work visa to arrive. 

As the meeting came to a close Perez reminded those attending of the stakes and importance of what they are doing. 

“This is not something that is going away fast. We are going to need support for a long time,” said Perez. “We need to make sure that we are going out, that our voices are heard.”

The next public meeting will be held on Sept.11 in the basement loft of Cooperation Humboldt, located at 840 E Street, Eureka.

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