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Decorah Faith Coalition works to benefit immigrant neighbors

Posted: Thu, Feb 8, 2018 4:33 PM

The Decorah Area Faith Coalition is hosting a community meal Tuesday in the tradition of Fat Tuesday, with the goal of helping neighbors who need legal assistance related to immigration.

"Raul is My Brother, A Fat Tuesday Feast" will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church at 302 West Broadway in Decorah. The fundraising feast features a taco bar and dessert buffet. The event is open to the public. Though no advance ticket is needed, organizers suggest a donation of $10 per adult and $5 per student, with children ages 6 and under admitted at no change.  

The Decorah Area Faith Coalition is sponsoring the event to raise money for the Immigration Legal Aid fund coordinated by Decorah United Church of Christ. Donations to the fund will be used to help Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients cover DACA renewal application fees, and legal fees associated with immigration court costs. One of the goals of the fund is to keep immigrant families intact, thereby strengthening our community.

Recently, the Immigration Legal Aid fund made it possible for Raul Campos to obtain an immigration attorney within 24 hours of his detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Campos, a 20-year resident of Northeast Iowa who was detained after a routine traffic stop on November 28th, has been released on bail.

"It means so much to my family to be part of the Decorah community," said Raul's daughter Jessica Campos. "It is truly a place where people help each other in times of need. We're eternally grateful for the help we've received through the legal aid fund, and grateful for the chance to raise funds and awareness so the fund can help keep other families together, too."

"Northeast Iowa is a place where neighbors care for neighbors," said Decorah Area Faith Coalition member Marty Steele. "Raul Campos is our neighbor. Through this fund, we can stand with the Campos family and other neighbors who need help navigating the legal system because of their immigration status."

The Decorah Area Faith Coalition is a group of people with connections to Northeast Iowa communities of faith who coordinate responses to needs in our communities, particularly related to immigration. Galvanized by the 2008 ICE raid in Postville, the Decorah Area Faith Coalition gathers to work and stand alongside immigrant neighbors.

Supporters who are unable to attend the event are invited to make a donation at the Immigration Legal Aid fund website