News from the fight for freedom, safety and dignity for all immigrants

detained or facing deportation in Pennsylvania.

November 2022 | Issue 24

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What's Happening?

This month we are highlighting one of our affiliates, HIAS PA. They have been helping the immigrant community since 1882.

This month we also had one client released, thanks to the efforts of PAIFUP legal services, and community organizations including the Korean Community Development Services Center and VietLead.

Also, please read the many articles discussing our efforts on the ground as we help arriving immigrants to Philadelphia.

Stronger Together: Meet Our Affiliates

HIAS: Mission

HIAS Pennsylvania supports low-income immigrants of all backgrounds as they build new lives in our community. Through immigration legal services and an array of social services, we work to address their needs, defend their rights, and advocate for their equitable inclusion in American society.

HIAS Pennsylvania remains at the forefront of immigrant issues through direct service, education, and advocacy.

In 2021 and 2022, HIAS PA served over 4500 clients from 165 countries. HIAS Pennsylvania led a coalition to enroll youth in DACA in 2012, fought the Muslim Ban in 2017 and is currently leading the charge to get universal representation for detained immigrants in Pennsylvania.

Client Success: Joshua

Originally from South Korea, Joshua has lived in Pennsylvania with his family for nearly 30 years. His elderly parents are naturalized U.S. citizens with very limited English proficiency, and he has long been the primary caretaker for his mother, who requires around-the-clock assistance due to a complex medical history that includes stroke, insulin-dependent diabetes, blindness, heart problems, and Alzheimer's.


In October 2021, Joshua was arrested following a family dispute in which he fought with his brother. No one suffered any significant injuries, but due to language barriers, the incident report included serious yet false allegations. While awaiting trial in county jail, Joshua was physically assaulted, resulting in emergency hospitalization and lasting medical and psychological effects. In July 2022, he was transferred to ICE detention, nearly 4 hours away from his family.


Joshua was screened by PAIFUP and assigned representation in early October 2022, with the goal of release on bond, so that he could resume helping his parents, whose health had declined greatly in his absence. Joshua's father lost a quarter of his weight and struggled to take care of his wife by himself, and due to worsening dementia, Joshua's mother experienced constant distress and disorientation about where he had gone.


With the help of his family, friends, and PAIFUP attorneys, as well as community organizations including the Korean Community Development Services Center and VietLead, Joshua was released from detention on bond. PAIFUP will continue to assist him in pursuing multiple avenues of immigration relief.

In Other News

'These are human beings': Philly officials settle new migrants bused from Texas

Since Nov. 16, Four buses with a total of more than 200 migrants have arrived in Philadelphia from Del Rio, Texas, each unannounced by Texas officials.The latest were two buses that got to 30th Street Station the day after Thanksgiving. Immigration officials have decried the political and 'totally unnecessary' lack of communication from Texas Gov.

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In Texas he was offered a choice of three cities. How one immigrant ended up on a bus to Philadelphia.

Juan Carlos was living with other immigrants in a Texas border facility when an announcement came over the loudspeaker: Buses were available to take them to Chicago, New York, or Philadelphia - for free. They could pick the city. Men in military fatigues asked him if he wanted to go, he said.

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New immigrants and refugees in Philadelphia get first taste of Thanksgiving

Abdullah Amarkhail left everything behind in his home country of Afghanistan - his family, his friends, his career. "Even my hope," the 31-year-old said. For six months, he's been living in South Philadelphia, helped by HIAS Pennsylvania, a nonprofit that provides legal and social services and other support to new immigrants and refugees.

Read More
Catch up on the previous issue here
Questions? Comments? News worth sharing? Send Yomayra Burgos, our PAIFUP coordinator, an email at [email protected].

The Pennsylvania Immigrant Family Unity Project (PAIFUP) is a collaborative of nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania formed in order to achieve universal representation for detained immigrants facing removal proceedings in PA.