Meet Pat, a founding donor and ongoing supporter of Americans Making Immigrants Safe (AMIS). She attributes her commitment to immigrant support and advocacy to her family history, with Irish Catholic roots and two parents who immigrated to America, facing danger and discrimination in the 1920s.
We are so grateful to Pat and donors like her who recognize that “our country’s greatness lies in its diversity.”
What community/neighborhood do you live in? Mayfield Village, OH
When did you first get involved and how did you hear about AMIS?
I have been a member of Heights Friends of Immigrants (HFOI) since it was launched. Now I am on HFOI’s steering committee. AMIS is the charitable arm of HFOI. I was very much aware of its beginnings and was among its initial funders.
Why do you think our mission is important?
Immigration has always been personal for me. Both my parents were immigrants. My mother came to this country at 16 years of age after a three-month boat trip with no contact with her family. She arrived during the 1920 election when there was intense prejudice directed against Irish Catholics. My father was smuggled out of Northern Ireland by my grandfather as my Dad was on a list of individuals to be killed. In college, I majored in history and learned that our country’s greatness lies in its diversity. Despite the immigrants’ contributions to our nation many immigrant groups suffered immensely.
Why do you think it’s important to support the immigrant population?
I believe that our current immigration system is broken. The fix, however, needs to reflect Emma Lazarus’s humanitarian vision of our nation, “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.”
How do you hope your donation(s) can help those we support?
AMIS is so needed in these troubled times. It is one of the most transparent organizations that I support providing us monthly reports on how they assist immigrants and their families.