An Inspiration to All
Elie, a South American young woman, grew up with political activism all around her. Her family was passionate about what was happening in their homeland and felt it was their duty to help others register to vote and understand the importance of their voice in making positive change.
Elie spent her time educating her contemporaries about the opposition party and mobilizing them to vote. Elie’s work, and that of her family, was successful. So successful that the government began to target Elie and her family in an effort to silence them.
The family received death threats, were tear gassed at events, and were arrested. Elie and her sibling were abducted by government security forces and tortured.
After the last horrific event, Elie’s family said goodbye to their homeland and sought asylum in the United States. They didn’t have time to request asylum before arriving in the U.S. so, following the law, they turned themselves in at the border and requested asylum.
The family was detained, but Elie was detained much longer. Detention was harsh for everyone but even more so for Elie as she suffers from a medical condition that received minimal attention while detained.
After many months, Elie was released on parole because of her medical attention. After her release, she found JFON Houston and asked for legal help.
Asylum has already been granted to Elie’s parents and sibling, but she still waits. While waiting for her day in court, Elie continues to work hard to help her family assimilate to life in the United States while working odd jobs to help put food on the table. No matter what life throws at Elie, she makes the most of it.
We are humbled to be working with such a passionate, politically engaged, and brave young woman. Elie is the neighbor we all want!