November 24, 2021

As we prepare to observe the Thanksgiving holiday, the International Institute of Los Angeles would like to give thanks to all our donors, volunteers, partners, and supporters. Your gifts and support this year has come at a critical time for our agency.

Since the fall of Kabul in August, IILA has resettled more than 350 individuals from Afghanistan, in addition to hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence and instability from around the world. We look forward to sharing the impact of your gifts and support on these families as they seek refuge and start their new lives. Furthermore, as we all continue to feel the impact of COVID, IILA has continued to serve some of our most vulnerable immigrant and low-income communities in Los Angeles.

As we enter a season of gratitude and community, all of us at IILA are incredibly grateful for your ongoing support. Thank you for helping us send a powerful message that refugees, immigrants, and low-income working families have the support of their neighbors. When people are empowered with the tools to become self-sufficient, our entire community benefits. This is possible thanks to your support.


Meet Iquer, one of IILA’s legal services clients. In addition to refugee resettlement, IILA also provides legal services, child care support, transportation, nutrition, and other social services to immigrants, low-income families, survivors of human trafficking, and those escaping the threat of violence.

I fled gang violence in El Salvador and came to the US when I was 17. I searched for lawyers to help with my paperwork, but I couldn’t afford them. My friend introduced me to IILA because he heard they helped unaccompanied kids from Central America. I called to explain my situation and was connected to my attorney Peter. Peter helped me secure “Special Immigrant Juvenile” status and apply for a work permit. I now qualify for lawful permanent residency. Peter will continue to represent me and help me apply for a green card.

My biggest struggle has been trying to go to college. I finished high school in El Salvador and applied to college when I got here. I was so excited when I got accepted, but I didn’t have a social security number so I couldn’t get financial aid and afford to stay in the program.

As soon as I get a work permit and social security number, I want to go back to college and study to become a neurologist in order to help people and give back. Without a job or college, I was wasting my time. Having this help is so important. I am so thankful for Peter, IILA, and everyone who makes this possible and helps me not to struggle so much.


 

Save the Date! GivingTuesday is November 30.

After Black Friday & Cyber Monday, help us refocus the holiday season on community and generosity.

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