Send Lawyers and Money

If you want to do something to help the kids that ICE and the Trump administration has held hostage for political goals, my sister’s best friend since kindergarten needs support.

We’ve helped Melanie in the past. Let’s help her again as she heads to El Paso




Support Critical Legal Services on the El Paso, TX/Ciudad Juarez, MX Border through Election Day (11/6/18)

Since July 2015, the Attorney on the Move project has given 100% pro bono legal services to hundreds of immigrant clients around the United States. Most recently, the project was based in Tucson, Arizona—70 miles away from Nogales, Mexico. I worked on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border and represented dozens of asylum seekers in their court proceedings in the Eloy, Florence, Tucson, and Phoenix immigration courts. I have recently published op-eds about family separation in USA Today and The Huffington Post.

And on July 14, 2018, I will be moving to the border to El Paso, Texas through Election Day (11/6/18) to give pro bono help to detained asylum seekers directly affected by the family separation/family detention crisis.

Your gift will support the following work—to be done on a 100% pro bono basis:

  • There are several amazing and scrappy local immigration advocacy groups in El Paso. I’ll be working very closely with the Executive Director of Las Americas (the ED is also currently the only lawyer on staff). We will be sharing responsibilities during my time in El Paso so that the ED has more capacity to focus on longer-term growth.
  • I’ll be creating from scratch, an on-the-ground pro bono program so that more volunteer lawyers from all over the country are able to come and represent more asylum seekers—especially as family detention expands onto nearby Ft. Bliss and legal counsel is urgently needed. This on-the-ground volunteer program will be similar in nature to those at the 3 other family detention centers in the U.S.: Dilley & Karnes City, TX and Berks, PA. The program will involve other volunteer lawyers coming to El Paso to prep asylum seekers for their Credible Fear Interviews (CFIs) and other legal needs.
  • Similarly, I will be creating a system for triaging urgently needed intakes of asylum seekers.
  • I will also be directly representing a number of detained asylum seekers affected by family separation/family detention in greater El Paso.
  • …and more to be determined upon arriving in Texas.

I am grateful to be in community with you all during these wild times. It’d be an honor to receive your support so that these urgent legal services can be provided to asylum seekers in El Paso, Texas.

In solidarity,

Melanie Gleason, Esq.

Founder, Attorney on the Move

Friday Morning Open Thread: Read Yer F…. ine Manual, “Christians”!

Even those Americans not raised in Christian traditions usually know the outlines of the “First Christmas” story: A family of refugees show up, without the resources to house themselves, and are helped out by ordinary local people. Then, when the authorities threaten to (shall we say) break up the family with extreme prejudice, three wealthy foreign elitists not only give them advance warning to flee, but provide them the means to do so successfully.

As I understand it, Donald Trump was confirmed in the Presbyterian Church, and still professes to practice it (“I go as much as I can, always on Christmas… “). He’s certainly surrounded himself with self-anointed loud’n’proud Christians, who believe their “faith” gives them special rights to dictate behavior to the rest of us. Somebody needs to catch that bunch up on their scripture!

(Click here, or on the tweet above, for more.)

Inevitable Trumplodyte coda…

Book Review – Land Of Open Graves by Jason De Leόn

Hey All,

Just wanted to share a review of a book I recently finished. If you like my writing, please come visit my blog.  Its become a lot of (road and trail) running (you can see what I have been doing in the state of Kentucky) and migration.  I thought this was BJ worthy given what is going on. I really tried to write to you guys sooner but I was battling post election blues and threw myself into running, mom stuff and my new job. I don’t take it lightly that I have access to this audience so I am selective about what I share on here.

I am ok and my kitty is doing okay.


Photo from Undocumented Migration Project website

I finished The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail.  It was a gift from my friend Carolina, creator of My (un)Documented Life blog.  It was written by Jason De Leόn, an anthropologist of Mexican descent, who spent 5 years in the field, in his journey to complete this project.  At its heart, his work depicts the violence faced by border crossers “as they attempt to enter the US without authorization by walking across the vast Sonoran desert of Arizona”. Its focus is on the Prevention through Deterrence (PTD) policy enacted in 1993.

The author explained that when the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was passed in 1994, the U.S. promised economic prosperity for Mexico if it would open up its ports of entry for inexpensive goods. Shortly thereafter, Mexico was abundant with U.S. subsidized corn that put millions of Mexican farmers out of work

Google gave me some background on NAFTA. Its purpose was to expand the flow of goods between Canada, US and Mexico. It eliminated import tariffs and eliminated or reduced non-tariff trade barriers like import quotas, licensing schemes and technical barriers to change. Lastly, it created protections for intellectual property.

Read more

Just A Slob Like Some Of Us

The only thing better than Donald Trump is people who go on the teevee to tell people how rich and classy and yooge Donald Trump is.

Donald Trump supporter Terra Compton Grant explained to CNN that the GOP presidential candidate’s plan to deport up to 20 million undocumented immigrants was a way to provide more jobs for whites “and some of the blacks.”

Over the weekend, Trump released details of his plan, which would make Mexico pay for a wall along the southern border, end birthright citizenship, and it would triple the ICE budget to forcefully deport all undocumented immigrants in the country.

On Monday, Grant told CNN host Carol Costello that she agreed with Trump’s plan even if it was not clear how he was going to pay for all of it.

“We’ve got to get a border, we’ve got to get a wall,” Grant insisted. “We have a lot of illegal immigrants that come into this country, they work illegally, they make American money, and then they send it back to Mexico to support their family. So, that money is going back to Mexico. So, the money is there to make that happen.”

According to Grant, Trump’s heart and mind were “in the right place.”

I really do, I love the plan,” she continued. “I love the idea that, hey, let’s get some of these illegal immigrants out of the country, let’s get them out of here so maybe more whites who have not been able to acquire jobs, maybe they can get into jobs [and] some of the blacks.

Grant added that she had a “good friend” who was deported but Facebook allowed them to stay in touch.

Dog whistle racism is simply too subtle in 2015.  What we need is Disaster Area concert racism.

The yoogest, classiest racism ever.  Very big.

Anonymous Book Review

I just finished the novel Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) written by Jose Rizal, a Philippine national hero. The title comes from the Latin version of words spoken, according to John: 20:17 (King James Version), by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognized him after his resurrection. He said “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” It is also a reference to cancer of the eyelids used by ophthalmologists, as Jose Rizal was also a physician.

 noli cover

The original text was written in Spanish. I believe my parents read it that way during their respective secondary school educations. I was happy to find the English translation on Amazon. It took me a long time to finish given my responsibilities as a working mom. Also, like all classical books, it was a technical read and I suspect a lot of it was lost in translation and on me being out of context. There were many references throughout the book, much like reading the Dante’s Inferno where it is almost impossible to get through a page without having to flip back and read the references (1). I wish someone would teach me more of this book. Unfortunately, I am all out of Asian history professors to stalk. Read more