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Help Keep My Family Together

$15.070 da meta de $15.000

Arrecadados por 413 pessoas em 5 meses
Criada em 18 de abril de 2018
#HelpKeepMyFamilyTogether #DadIsHeretoStay #FreeDad #Donate #Share #LaFamiliaUnidaJamasSeraVencida

Today we are raising funds to help my dad fight against deportation and keep our family together. One of our worst fears materialized last Friday morning when my family received a phone call informing us that my dad had been detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and arrested outside of our home. Although ICE officials had no right to do this since there was no warrant for my dad’s arrest, they used intimidation tactics to make him believe that he had no choice. We have lived in crippling fear of this moment for as long as I can remember. Now that it’s really happening, we are trying to come to grips with this reality, remain strong and move forward with the support of our community. Being undocumented has forced my dad to endure various injustices and live in the shadows for far too long.

His name is Arturo Esquivel. He is an exceptional dad, a man of strong faith and an integral part of our family. You may have seen him at any one of Laura’s color guard events where he is her loudest, number one fan. You may have met him during Family Weekend at Brown University where his charisma and generosity left a lasting impression. You may recognize him from our string of silly Snapchats he constantly stars in. He is a hard-working, memorable man with many talents and the ability to leave a lasting impact on anyone he meets. He has a heart bigger than anyone I've ever met and is the kind of person that would give the shirt off his back. He has taught us the importance of putting others before yourself.

My father came to this country 20+ years ago with the purpose of providing a better life for his family. Growing up in a rougher part of Mexico City, he bought into the American Dream, convinced that this country would open the doors to opportunities not available to us in Mexico. Initially, he entered the country legally but overstayed a visitor’s visa. However, in 2005, he returned to Mexico because of a family emergency and when he tried to reenter the country, he was denied and forced to return to Mexico. At this point, he was faced with a life-changing decision, knowing he had built a life for us in the United States and had to come back. This prompted his illegal re-entry into the country. Even in the face of danger, my father always prioritized his family and took the only route available to come home. He now faces the threat of deportation, taking him away from our family unless we can put a stop to it. Right now, it kills us to think of him sleeping in a detention cell, contemplating the uncertainty of our future, instead of his warm bed at home next to my mom where he belongs.

Our immediate goal is to secure the best legal representation possible in order to get my dad out on bail ASAP. It’s been a grueling few days meeting with multiple lawyers. We discovered that due to the complexities of his case and the White House administration’s pressure on judges to deport immigrants, the legal costs will be substantial. Lawyer’s fees and court costs will range from $7,000-$10,000. Additionally, bail could be posted at up to $15,000. We have already paid hundreds of dollars in consultation fees, travel and miscellaneous costs such as refilling his ICS services account for phone calls and basic needs while he remains detained. Further, my dad was the primary provider of my parent’s household. On my end, I will be returning home after my academic semester to work full-time and help contribute financially. Until then, however, even though my mom works a full-time and a part-time job, her income won’t be enough to support the entire financial burden that is about to fall completely on her shoulders.

The money we are able to raise with your help will supplement our efforts to cover the various costs that will result from this journey which will likely take several months. Please help keep our family together by donating and sharing our story. Thank you for your support.

Christian Arturo Esquivel, son
Laura Esquivel, daughter
Laura Madrigal, wife
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No words can express the gratitude I have for all the people that came together and rallied for my family’s cause. Raising the funds to cover the exorbitant legal fees and costs of this process seemed a nearly-impossible endeavor. Yet, we exceeded our goal! This gives me so much hope, not only for my dad’s fight with the immigration system, but for what we are capable of achieving when we come together.

Personally, what this meant for me is that I was able to return to campus and finish my semester with the peace of mind that everything that can be done is being done and that my family would be taken care of for the time being. For now, my dad is still detained so please keep him in your prayers and keep sending good vibes. There’s a long road ahead of us and it will require a tremendous amount of patience but, sharing the same optimism that my dad has embraced throughout his life, I am hopeful that we will have a favorable outcome from all this.

So many people donated, shared, and offered support (including an unexpected amount of anonymous support) that it’s impossible to name everyone but thank you, truly, to everyone who contributed and reached out.

A couple special shoutout’s of appreciation to:
Mariachi de Brown for collecting donations during their Música sin Fronteras Spring Concert
Brown ACLU for their generous support
Camila Arbelaez Solano and BIRC for donating the proceeds of their Fuck Borders community response party
Kim Mota and Angelica Mercado for raising funds by selling arroz con leche, chicha morada and agua de horchata at Mt. Holyoke College
My mentor and friend Heidi Stamas for always going above and beyond for me

Also, thank you to my day one, partner in crime, lil sis, Laura Esquivel. This was a joint effort and I couldn’t have done this without you. To my beautiful mother who is the strongest woman I know, and is celebrating a birthday today, thank you, I love you and I can’t wait to get home.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible.
#LaFamiliaUnidaJamasSeraVencida
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Writing my dad's fundraising campaign has been reminiscent of crafting my own college application essays. An attempt at encapsulating the best of, the merits and triumphs, and the lessons learned along a person's life journey in just the right amount of words so the reader won't lose interest.

I urge you today to not lose interest and continue to keep my dad in your thoughts and prayers. My dad's story is an American story, an immigrant story. Remember the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country who are deemed undeserving of a normal life, basic rights and protections, simply because they were born on the other side of the border.

Look up, we are all around you.

Yes, my dad was a family man. Yes, he was a man of strong faith who was willing to engage in debate with his kids who struggled to understand God's ways. Yes, he was know by many in our community because of his charismatic demeanor and undeniable presence when he walked into a room. Yes, he has taught me much of what it means to be a man. But perhaps one of the biggest lessons I learned by watching my dad was in the way he would aknowledge, interact with and appreciate everyone in a room, from the youngest child to the eldest person. He cared about people, not because of what they could or did contribute to his life, but because they were present.

And this is what this is all about. My dad, and the 11 million undocumented people in our country, deserve basic rights and protections simply because they are present. They are radiant and beautiful in their own right, not because of their contribution to the economy or romantiziced stories of resilience.

As you enjoy your long-awaited and well-deserved saturday evening with friends and loved ones, think about those who continue to be failed by a broken, outdated immigration system. My dad's saturday evening? Laying on a hard bed, his head supported by an old, rolled-up shirt because they are not provided with pillows or blankets, battling with uncertainty and waiting for Monday. Mondays are the one day a week we are permitted to see him for 20 minutes and talk to him by picking up a phone and smiling at him through a thick plexi-glass partition.

We have much work to do but it all begins with awareness. Please continue to share my family's story. Thank you for your contributions, love and support. #UnidosJamasSeramosVencidos
Graduation! Calvin Theological Seminary
A man with a huge heart and big dreams
He did, of course, have weaknesses: cake
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Beyond grateful for the support we have received so far. Nothing is impossible when an entire community stands behind you. Today has been a long, exhausting day but I am optimistic about tomorrow and our fight to #KeepMyFamilyTogether. Please continue to share our story. Thank you.
My pops posing with Frosty
Laura's loudest and #1 supporter
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$15.070 da meta de $15.000

Arrecadados por 413 pessoas em 5 meses
Criada em 18 de abril de 2018
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