Please help a friend help us live up to our ideals

A lifelong friend of my sister is an attorney and an all around good person.  Melanie Gleason has been working as an immigration/asylum attorney with a specific focus on cases on our Southwest border.  Her clientele seldom can pay so she needs help.

I don’t often do this but I would like to ask our community to help her out if you can do so.  We need to hold to our ideals and help those who are fighting for those ideals day in and day out.

Happy Holidays! How are you? I hope this finds you doing as well as possible—I know it has been quite a year (oof). I also want to apologize for being more out of touch lately; work has honestly been rather tough down here on the border (e.g. on Thanksgiving, I was contacted by a handful of different people whose loved ones were actually detained by ICE that day). So, I am looking forward to being able to connect more in the new year—thanks so much for your support.

I also wanted to share what’s new with Attorney on the Move:

Today, I’m launching a campaign to continue to provide free legal services to asylum seekers here on the border in 2018. Please click here to find out more and contribute.

After providing legal services out of my car for a year a half & when #45 won the election last fall, I made the decision to move to the U.S./Mexico border to be on the immigration frontline to help asylum seekers seeking refuge and peace. There have been many difficult days and nights, but it has all been worth it—to see clients released from detention and not feeling alone because they have a lawyer representing them. For a number of immigrant detainees, I am the only person who comes to visit them at Eloy.

In 2018, in addition to providing full representation for asylum seekers on the ground, Attorney on the Move will aim for more scalable impact, including:

  • More op-eds elevating the voices of those who are detained and shining the light on other injustices within the immigration system and beyond—such as this piece I wrote featured in The Hill (and then a videographer from The Atlantic contacted me to see if my client’s voice could be featured in an upcoming piece)
  • A weekly newsletter starting in early January featuring a curated list of immigration and other social-justice focused articles and commentary—as well as updates on what’s going on here on the ground
  • Working closely with other social justice lawyers and advocates to help them launch their own social ventures to address systemic inequities around immigration and other important issues.

This project has been funded by grassroots donations since the very beginning—and it’d be an honor to receive your support. You can help create momentum early on by clicking here to chip in.

I always look forward to the next time our paths will cross—thank you for all you are doing during these wild times. And I’d love to hear more about what you’ve been up to and how things are going over on your end. Happy holidays and I’m grateful to be connected as we move into 2018!

In solidarity,


16 replies
  1. 1
    Steeplejack says:

    Get DougJ to put up a thermometer with a hefty number. We’ll do it!

  2. 2
    Joy in FL says:

    What @Steeplejack said.

  3. 3
    Tenar Arha says:

    Great idea! I just donated to “Immigration Advocates Network” in Massachusetts, but it’s kind of a blanket clearinghouse for all the attorneys who do pro bono immigration work. I’d love to support someone directly too.

    (Hmm, might not be a bad idea: a version of Donor’s Choose for Immigration Lawyers. Feel free to steal this ;-)

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    As if anyone needs further motivation to support your friend’s important work, there’s this:

  5. 5
    Doug Gardner says:

    Thanks for posting this; I wasn’t aware of this group, and I’ve donated and shared their story.

  6. 6
    Brachiator says:

    Thanks for posting this. Worthy of publicity and donations for Christmas.

  7. 7
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Boy, nothing will shout “Family! Values!” more than that policy.

  8. 8
    Nelle says:

    Just got a text from my sister. ICE agents are trying to pick up my nephew right now. He is scheduled for an immigration court meeting and they don’t want to wait. He’s got six kids who thought they were going to have Christmas with their dad. Fingers crossed.

  9. 9
    Another Scott says:

    @Steeplejack: All of Mayhew-Anderson’s links are to the donation page. Since (AFAIK) all of these on-line fundraising outfits take a cut, it probably doesn’t make sense to have multiple layers of donations to the same group. This group (Razoo) charges 6%.

    Donated. Best of luck to her, and thanks for the pointer Richard-David.


  10. 10
    Another Scott says:

    @Nelle: :-( Horrible. Best of luck to him and your family.


  11. 11
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Nelle: I’m really sorry to hear that. I’ll be thinking of your nephew, wishing him the best, and crossing my fingers he gets Christmas with his family and his court date.

  12. 12
    Raoul says:

    A congregant at my partner’s church is an immigration attorney in Minnesota. She says that it is the worst she’s ever seen. Some of her clients, who have been in custody the whole time, don’t show up for court appearances. With no info to the attorney representing them.
    ICE just deports them without process. I assume this isn’t legal, but who is going to fund the work to expose and reverse this? I guess we are.

  13. 13
    CTVoter says:

    Done. Thanks for educating me about her.

  14. 14
    rikyrah says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    This is what Kelly supported.

    Evil azz muthaphuckas – THE ENTIRE LOT OF THEM.

  15. 15
    J R in WV says:


    Thanks for posting this. We have a small place we visit in SE Arizona during January-March, to avoid the winter blues here in WV. We’re 27 miles north of Mexico in the foothills of a mountain range. The floor of our little house out there is 5500 feet above sea level.

    So we are connected both by being in the home of Balloon Juice and spending time in Arizona, as well as feeling for people being mistreated by government agencies. I was once shackled to a bench by Border Patrol staff, and locked in a holding cell until the wee hours of the next morning.

    This particular Border Patrol station was staffed entirely by Americans of Hispanic extraction, who spoke Spanish with each other exclusively, even though all their prisoners spoke only English. While we were there, they detained NO illegal immigrants, in fact no immigrants of any kind, confiscated NO foreign origin materials, just harassed American citizens.

    We had no idea what they were saying to each other while we were in custody. So that gave us an idea of what it was like to be unable to speak or understand English while in the custody of bullies speaking English around their prisoners.

    I wish there was a way at that donation site to sign up for a monthly donation, like Act-Blue allows donors to give.

  16. 16
    satby says:

    I normally donate to the IRC every Holiday season, I’m delighted to be able to support this wonderful person in her work. Wish she could build a team of hundreds like her!

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