Iranian asylum family needs our help

For several years, members of an Iranian family seeking asylum in the U.S. have been active congregants at IUCC. When we were still able to meet in person, they were ushers, greeters and hospitality providers, and their friendly greetings endear them to many. They now desperately need a reliable, low-priced used car, or cars, to enable them to continue work and go to school. 

The family lives in Mission Viejo, and public transportation is not available. Their older, donated car recently was totaled in a hit-and-run accident. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Leasing more than one car has become very expensive. The father has been paying $25/day for a rental car to drive to work. Soon, they will not have enough transportation for all four adults to work and go to school. 

We’re not using their names because of concerns for their safety and that of family members still in Iran. The family of four were granted asylum six years ago at the end of the Obama Administration but, because of the restrictions of our recent administration, they have been unable to see an immigration judge. With some legal assistance, they are hopeful that some movement in their case will happen under the new administration. 

In the meantime, the family struggles without green cards. The father, who was a successful businessman in Iran, is now limited to a low-wage factory job, and the mother, who was a professional midwife, has found some home care jobs. Both daughters attend college but are not eligible for financial assistance without green cards. With the help of some individual contributions and very hard work, the older daughter is completing her last semester of pre-med at UCI with a 3.8 GPA.

Some generous congregation members have stepped forward and offered to donate funds – we now have $1,000 in pledges. Two church members, Sandy Sudweeks and Bil Aulenbach, have arranged a fund to help pay for a used car. 

If you would like to help this family get a used car, please call Sandy Sudweeks (suds5757@yahoo.com)  or 949-350-8850.

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