by Adam Delezenne
We probably shouldn’t have favorite clients; however, Carlos stands out among staff and volunteers at the Southwest Legal Clinic. When he comes to the center, several volunteers ask to be part of the team working on his case. We are all rooting for him.
Carlos traveled to the United States with his family at the age of 17. He has severe hearing deficits and needed cochlear implants, which he was able to receive in the United States. Now in his 30s, Carlos is facing deportation after ICE visited his workplace and found he had no visa. If he were to return to the home of his youth, in Mexico, he would be an easy target for gangs. His city is known for gang activity. His hearing aids mark him as a vulnerable person with resources to receive medical help that many others cannot afford.
Unfortunately, Carlos’ asylum case is not particularly strong. The actual violence he experienced in Mexico was minor, but we believe that no one should be forced to live where they can expect to be targeted because they are different.
We also believe that the United States, particularly Detroit, greatly benefits with Carlos here! He’s a dedicated worker with a generous spirit and a strong desire to live at peace. We want Carlos to be able to live openly in the home community he has known for most of his life.
Unfortunately, there is only so much help we can offer. In Carlos case, we offer it because we feel a moral obligation to offer welcome to someone who was not welcome in the community to which he was born. We are doing our best to help Carlos’ dream become a reality.
The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center provides free and low-cost legal services to those who need them most in the Detroit area, with a focus on recent immigrants and refugees.
We were founded in 2014 by Kevin Piecuch, our Executive Director