The rising numbers of African migrants arriving at the U.S. border is fueling a niche for savvy immigration attorneys who are launching online fundraising campaigns and regularly traveling to Mexico to provide “assistance.”
A special shot out to the organizations and individuals at the border in Tijuana working with black migrants! @AlOtroLado_Org @HaitianBridge @thehabeshadream ! Please follow and support the work! #blackmigrant #eritrea #ethiopia #Cameroon #haiti #africa pic.twitter.com/b3rSX6tjHE
— rebecca_esq (@EsqRebecca) August 5, 2019
“A special shout out to the organizations and individuals at the border in Tijuana working with black migrants! @AlOtroLado_Org @HaitianBridge @thehabeshadream !” California immigration attorney Rebecca Alemayehu posted to Twitter. “Please follow and support the work! #blackmigrant #eritrea #ethiopia #Cameroon #haiti #africa”
Alemayehu has trekked to Tijuana with her selfie stick and name-brand Nike apparel to focus specifically on black Haitian migrants and other black “asylum seekers,” who are now flocking to the U.S.-Mexico border by the thousands.
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Communities coming together to help the black migrants at the border! We are stronger together 💪🏽 ! Follow us. Donate. Get involved. . . . . . #humanity #cribsnotcages #asylumseekerswelcome #familiesbelongtogether #immigration #asylumseekers #habesha #ethiopia #eritrea #endfamilyseparation #immigrantjustice #refugeeswelcome #elpasostrong #nohumanbeingisillegal #democrats #endfamilyseparation #endchilddetention #wherearethechildren #endfamilydetention #reunitefamilies #schoolsnotprisons #blacklivesmatter #womensmarch #notonemore #stopseperatingfamilies #asylumseekers #keepfamiliestogether #stopfamilydetention #closethecamps #refugeeswelcome #asylumseekers
“We were able to provide assistance for the black community here. This morning we started with the Habeshas from … Ethiopia, then we transitioned with the Cameroonians and now we are with the Haitians,” Alemayehu’s colleague with Haitian Bridge Alliance, Guerline Jozef, said from a dusty road, as Mexican police patrolled in the background.
“So we are just feeling very blessed to be able to provide some type of relief, and you know we’ve been doing this for so long but every time feels like the first time,” she said. “New faces, a lot of needs, we have people who have been here for three years and we have people who have just came last night.”
The posts come amid repeated reports of thousands of migrants from as many as 19 different African countries attempting to cross into the United States illegally in large groups, from several dozen to several hundred. Many cross illegally with large numbers of Central American migrants after a trek north through South America, Guatemala and Mexico.
Alemayehu’s other videos featured the lawyer in a black cap with a large white X on the front as she introduced her team and plugged the group’s GoFundMe page. The vast majority of the group’s work directs followers to donate money.
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It takes a village 🙏🏽❤️ Link in bio #habeshaasylumseekers . . . . . . . #habesha #thehabeshadream #cribsnotcages #familiesbelongtogether #immigration #asylumseekers #ethiopia #eritrea #endfamilyseparation #refugeeswelcome #nohumanbeingisillegal #endfamilyseparation #ilhanomar #alsharpton #endchilddetention #wherearethechildren #endfamilydetention #reunitefamilies #schoolsnotprisons #blacklivesmatter #womensmarch #notonemore #baltimore #stopseperatingfamilies #asylumseekers #keepfamiliestogether #refugeeswelcome #cnn #msnbc #asylumseekers #closethecamps #humanity
“Hey everyone it’s been a crazy day, there’s a lot of black migrants out here, Habeshas, Haitians, Etheopians, Eritreans, Cameroonians, who really, really need our help,” Alemayehu pleaded in one video. “We have been servicing the community all day. Please visit our GoFundMe page, visit our Instagram links, and let’s donate to help our brothers and sisters. I really appreciate all of you guys who have donated so far, we really, really appreciate you guys.”
The Law Offices of Rebecca L. Alemayehu Facebook page features photos of the young attorney’s swanky Downtown L.A. office space, but features little other information about the firm.
Alemayehu’s social media activity focuses virtually entirely on the border crisis and promoting Justice Democrats – the four Socialist congresswomen who’ve likened detention centers for those who cross the border illegally to Nazi death camps designed to killed millions during World War II.
The Los Angeles attorney and her team spent the last several months sensationalizing every development in the border crisis to fundraise for legal and “humanitarian assistance” for the very specific segment of Africans coming to the border.
“Some of the main objectives of our trips have included aiding immigrants in understanding their legal rights, as well as providing them with humanitarian assistance,” according to the group’s GoFundMe page, which explains why Habesha “asylum seekers” – Ethiopians and Eritreans – deserve special help.
— rebecca_esq (@EsqRebecca) August 1, 2019
“On our last trip to the border, we saw an incredibly large number of Eritreans and Ethiopians stranded in Tijuana, with no clear idea of when they will be granted their right to seek asylum in the United States,” the fundraiser read.
The group is “particularly vulnerable because language and cultural barriers make it difficult to access service providers,” the group argues.
“Many Eritreans and Ethiopians do not have status in Mexico. With this being said, they are subject to removal at any time. These individuals are fleeing violence, suffering, and persecution in their home country. They have endured many hardships on a long and dangerous journey to the United States, many losing their lives along the way. Like many of us, they have come here by whatever means possible to have a chance at life. These asylum seekers are desperate to live and we commit to do everything in our power to assist them,” the GoFundMe page reads.
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If you know me, I don’t normally if ever share GoFundMe pages. But we have been so blessed by this amazing group of people who have dedicated themselves to serve black migrants at the border. Using the funds raised, we have been able to support over 400 migrants in Tijuana in last month alone. Please donate @thehabeshadream campaign. I was so touched when @rebecca_esq took the time to buy the cutest care packages for a group of 10 young women. We are working with young girls and women on the ground to elevate their voices and Co-empower them in their journey. Anpil Men, Chay Pa Lou! Many Hands Make the Load Lighter! @haitianbridge Immigration is black issue Immigration is a You and I issue Immigration is a human issue #dontlookaway #calledtoserve #1istoomany #blackattheborder
The page raised over $26,000 since January, though it offers only vague descriptions on how the money is used. Housing “to provide a safe roof over their heads,” food “to help overcome the hunger that they have faced for weeks,” and to “provide safe public transportation.”
Donations also reportedly go to “health care” for those who are “extremely ill,” and “everyday essentials needed to cover their basic needs.”
The page stresses that “funds raised will only be used to provide humanitarian assistance to the Habesha asylum seekers.”