Issoufou, Emmanuel, and Idrissa who are from Burkina Faso, were released from the Youngstown prison on Monday, January 13, and arrived at their new home at Forest Hill Church Presbyterian in Cleveland Heights late in the afternoon.
AMIS, Inc., the Diocese of Cleveland Immigration Assistance Fund, and Cleveland Jobs with Justice raised the $45,000 needed to post bond of $15,000 for each man, and posted it that morning. Individual women and men, and a several faith congregations from across Northeast Ohio generously gave to the bond fund. AMIS received donations ranging from $20 to $3000! We thank all those who donated to the bond fund. Money received specifically for the three men which was not needed for the bond has been segregated into a separate fund for them at AMIS, Inc. and will be used for their ongoing needs as they remake their lives here in the U.S.
Their asylum claims are ongoing and we don’t expect a final resolution for quite some time. We will let you know when something of significance happens with their claims. The legal process is a long one.
Forest Hill Church has scheduled ESL tutors and other supporters to spend time with the men, take them on outings, enjoy meals with them, and help them navigate our community. They are doing very well given all they’ve been through and they are delightful to be with.
The men are in transition now and not ready to take visitors unless cleared through FHC’s Immigration Task Force. Please contact Jeff Smith at JeffSmith2756@gmail.com before visiting.