A Veteran Is Helping A Family From Honduras Seek Asylum By Opening Up Her Home And Sponsoring Them
Everyone has their own unique immigration story. Selena Gomez revealed how her aunt hid in the back of a truck when she first entered the U.S. That journey her family made led to the birth of her father in the U.S. and eventually hers. Everyone has a story about how they became a part of this country, and one thing that continues to ring true with each immigration story is how much hard work it takes to become a citizen. For those that are lucky enough to have a helping hand through that journey, it can make all the difference in the world.
A stranger heard that an undocumented immigrant family needed a sponsor to help them through their immigration process and stepped up to the plate to help them.
Vonnette Monteith, a veteran living in Louisville, Kentucky, first met a mother from Honduras during a service at St. Williams Catholic Church last year. According to the Courier-Journal, the mother, who’s in the U.S. as a refugee, spoke up at her church and told the congregation that she needed help. The mother, wife, and refugee from Honduras, said she needed a sponsor so her family could escape a life of violence and be together in the U.S.
The veteran and former Army lieutenant colonel said she had two spare rooms in her house — and she ended up welcoming eight people.
“I have a hard time saying no,” Monteith said in an interview with the Courier-Journal.
While you may assume that having eight new people in your home would be an obstacle, the main issue is that Monteith didn’t speak any Spanish. The eventually learned to communicate with each other via a language app.
The refugee told Monteith that her family had to flee Honduras after gang members there, allegedly from MS-13, killed her son’s grandmother, apparently “because she interfered with their recruitment efforts.”
The refugee mom told Monteith that her daughter and granddaughter had also fled Honduras and were stuck at the southern border in Mexicali.
According to the Courier-Journal, the daughter and granddaughter arrived in Mexicali earlier this year to also seek asylum as her family had last year. However, because of President Donald Trump’s new “remain in Mexico” policy, she could not reach her family.
“It’s very sad what they are doing to us,” the woman said. “It’s hard to be away from my family. I miss them very much.”
That is when Monteith sprung into action once again. Monteith continued to help this family not just by opening up her home to them, but also by assisting with their legal issues.
She drove from Kentucky to Mexicali to immigration court to try and get the daughter to reunite with her family.
At the court hearing, the judge asked who she was and why she was in court with this woman seeking asylum.
“I’m Vonnette Monteith,” she said, according to the publication. “I know the family, and I’m here to help.”
In a perfect world that would be the end of the story, and it would have been a good ending too, but under the current administration, it is a whole different story. While having a sponsor can make all the difference in the world as it did for the woman and her family, it wasn’t quite as easy for her daughter.
Monteith first had to find a lawyer that would represent the young mom in court, and that was a big struggle.
“The thing that was so disappointing was that out of all of these organizations out there helping immigrants, none of them called me back,” Monteith said in the publication. “I went to LA and walked all over and emailed, and emailed, and emailed. If I, who understands the language and knows how to call and email, can’t get help, how are they getting help?”
Monteith ended up convincing the lawyer that helped the woman gain asylum last year, but because of timing issues, her daughter’s day in court will have to come later this year.
Either way, Monteith has already done so much for this family, and it seems like she will see them through until they are all reunited in the end. Now, if we could only have more people that were willing to help.
READ: This Teen Girl Was Forced To Wait In Mexico Under The ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy And She Nearly Drowned In The Rio Grande
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