It Takes A Village To Raise A Family

I just signed the following petition addressed to: U.S. immigration. A few weeks ago a close friend of mine lost her aunt to cancer and what’s even sad is her eight year old cousin Matthew and his twin brothers no longer have a mother.

According to the petition “their mother died of brain cancer last month. Their dad, Tewelde, is struggling to take care of the three boys now that his wife is gone. He needs help. His sister, Hirut, a widow who lives and owns property in Addis Ababa, wants to come to Dallas to support her brother and nephews.

Tewelde emigrated from Eritrea to the U.S. and became a citizen in 1998. He was a conscientious objector in the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Imprisoned and tortured for refusing to join the army, he sought and was granted political asylum in the U.S. Tewelde met and married his wife in the U.S., and their children were born U.S. citizens. Grieving and overwhelmed, Tewelde cannot work full time and also take care of his family. He cannot afford child care. A mechanic in Eritrea, Tewelde worked as taxi driver in Dallas until his wife got sick. He has to work long days, seven days a week to make a living wage. But he sold his car when his wife got sick. If he works only part time, he cannot cover the expenses for a leased taxi.

A homeowner, Tewelde’s savings have dwindled, and he and his boys currently make ends meet through a collection taken up by the Dallas Eritrean community. Unable to drive a taxi, Tewelde has been volunteering at his church, the Eritrean Orthodox Church, helping with repairs and teaching the Eritrean language to children. But Tewelde must return to full time work soon, or he and his boys likely will lose their home. He cannot return to work unless he has his sister’s help to take care of Matthew and his brothers each afternoon and evening.
The U.S. embassy in Ethiopia, where Hirut lives, has refused to grant her an expedited humanitarian visa, because they consider her application to be a request for routine tourist travel. They insist that Hirut go through a year-long process to receive an I-31 traveling document. Requested Congressional assistance has not produced any tangible results to date.”

Please sign this petition to ask the U.S. Immigration Visa Center and the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia to allow Hirut Woldehiwot Teklegiorges to travel to the U.S. on an expedited humanitarian visa for a period of one year to lend support to her brother and nephews.


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