Maribel is a 20-year-old woman from Central America. At age 16, she left her country after she found out she was pregnant, both fleeing abuse and to provide a better life for her child.

She crossed into the US and was detained by Border Patrol. She had her son while in immigration detention, and he spent the first few months of his life in custody. She was released and came to live in the DMV area, where soon, she was sex trafficked by her sponsor. After escaping, the client entered foster care and has worked very hard to rebuild her life. Her T visa was approved a year ago, and she recently applied for her green card. 

Maribel is now independent, living in her own apartment with her young son, and has been taking GED classes for a year and will soon take the official test. Her son is now in preschool and is speaking English!  

Maribel is very intelligent, perceptive, a planner, and has a hilarious sense of humor. She is a wonderful mom, stopping at nothing to get what her child needs,” says Case Manager, Kirstie Sippola.    

 Maribel recently found out she is pregnant again and will be giving birth soon. At Ayuda, we have no doubt her baby will have an excellent life due to the love, attention, and support their amazing and hardworking mom will give them. 

*Name changed to protect client identity 

Ayuda's Response to Busing of Migrants

Since April 2022, Ayuda has been working to help coordinate the humanitarian response as the governors of Texas and Arizona continue to send thousands of migrants on buses to Washington, D.C.

We are providing culturally and linguistically specific legal, social and language access services to newly arriving migrants. These services include case management and intake support, interpretation, as well as the provision of food, clothing, hygiene kits, prepaid cell phones, medical supplies, and paid shelter.

Our legal team is providing individualized legal orientations for migrants explaining the immigration system and helping them be aware of their rights and responsibilities.  

“Immigrants are first and foremost, human beings. They deserve respect and compassion, and Ayuda will continue to do what we do best – provide holistic support to those in need in our communities.” - Paula Fitzgerald, Executive Director

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