This Labor Day, it’s especially important to reflect on the value of work: the work you enable us to do at HRI, the work our clients do, and the work ahead. Let’s celebrate the people from all across the world who are performing essential jobs here in the U.S.: farm workers, medical and life scientists, home health aides, nursing assistants, and truck and delivery drivers. In the United States, immigrants ‘get the job done.’
When Dallas County issued the first shelter in place order, legal services like HRI’s were deemed essential. Deadlines on our clients’ cases were not suspended and the government continued to generate documents which required timely response. Our dedicated staff never stopped working–remotely and, when necessary, in the office.
- Like all of us, working is top-of-mind for our clients. For some, employment authorization can happen while their cases are pending; for others, work authorization can’t come until after the wait for status is over. In either case, the process has become complex, adversarial, and expensive. Our legal assistants and accredited representatives estimate that they devote 50% of their time to ensure that clients can access that right.
- As the administration began to raise fees and restrict fee waivers, we created a Client Access Fee Fund. The crisis in the American immigration system has only worsened, but HRI is as committed as ever to meeting emerging needs.
- At the same time, our clients were hard hit by the economic downturn. When the public health crisis hit, we began raising and distributing thousands in emergency aid to ensure client housing and food security. Thanks to your generosity, our social services team has continued to provide regular toiletry pick-ups, and has expanded to provide grocery assistance cards and, in certain circumstances, rental assistance.
- As the Administration continues to prevent asylum seekers from reaching our doors, we’ve begun training and supporting pro bono attorneys to provide remote legal assistance to asylum seekers trapped in dangerous conditions at the Mexican border, in partnership with Lawyers for Good Government.
Masked and in-person or remotely across the state and border, we’re still here for our clients: asylum seekers fleeing persecution; abused, abandoned, and neglected children; and survivors of domestic abuse and other violent crimes.
The work and the times are hard. Can we do it together?
This Labor Day, we celebrate labor rights activist Dolores Huerta, now in her 90’s, who said:“We can make a difference, and we should never give up on that, and we should never doubt ourselves that we can change things and make them better in our world. Sí se puede!”
THANK YOU for being an essential part of this work.
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Volunteer: Translators needed for remote work. Volunteer@hrionline.org
Celebrate: Stories from the HeART: Rock Your HeART Out. www.rockyourheartout.org
NTGD, September 17th, 2020: Join generous supporters from across North Texas in this annual day of giving.
Donate by mail: 2801 Swiss Ave, Dallas TX 75204
Online: Reach our secure giving platform by texting “HRIGive” to 44-321 OR hrionline.org/give-lively/
Contact: email@example.com for stock transfers, sponsorships, or in-kind support.