Decatur Imperial to host #FamiliesBelongTogether Fundraiser

A fundraiser to support Kids In Need of Defense will be held at the Imperial this Thursday. KIND provides legal representation for children facing deportation proceedings, with a focus on children from Central America, and advocates for policy changes that will better protect unaccompanied children in the US.

Tickets for entrance are $20. The organizer’s goal is $5,000, which they have already earned $4,900 of. It costs KIND $5,000 to represent one child in court.

There will be four speakers, including State House Rep Brenda Lopez, a first generation immigrant from Mexico, who worked as an immigration lawyer before running for office, “as an extension of that advocacy work,” Lopez told the AJC.

Michelle Lapointe, who works for the Immigration Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center will also be speaking. The Immigration Justice Project works to “transform the deportation process,” by suing for fairer trials and providing attorneys to immigrants in the southern US, their website stated. 

The Migration Policy Institute reported that children who come to the US alone are often stuck in crowded shelters, or live on the street. “A mistrust of authorities or fear of detention prevents children from seeking help,” the AJC quoted.

Junior Liza Watson will be attending with her mother.

“She’s ‘woker’ than me,” Watson said, “But I’m excited to go.”