Fundraiser helps immigrants, arts and culture

Posted at 10:23 PM, Apr 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-09 23:23:21-04

President Donald Trump's promise to deport undocumented immigrants, living in the U.S., leaves many with an uncertain future.

A fundraising event in downtown Omaha Sunday aims to help undocumented immigrants find answers.

The event, at the Slowdown Rock Club and Bar, also raised money for the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

That group is worried it could lose federal funding, if the President's plan for deep cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts goes through. 

"These are two issues that are really important to us as Omahans,” said Denise Powell, Omaha. “I think Omaha is a city on the move and as we grow, making sure that our diverse population is being recognized and supported, making sure that our arts and artists are free and supported. I think is vital to our city's growth."

As a child of two immigrants, for Powell it's an issue that’s close to home.

"My parents are from Chile and Cuba,” Powell said. “This is an issue I have personal experience with as a child of immigrants, but I would love to see what organizations like Justice for Our Neighbors and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment are doing to support diverse communities."

The group, Justice For Our Neighbors, gives free legal representation to undocumented immigrants.

The group’s executive director says money from the fundraiser helps in a variety of ways.

"Not every person that is here without documents is eligible for a legal remedy within the current immigration legal system,” said Emiliano Lerda. “There may be a lot of people who may be eligible. That may have a solution available to them."

While money from Sunday’s fundraiser could help find solutions for undocumented immigrants living in Omaha, the problems that community could face are many, especially if they are deported.

"The problem is if you leave your children here, who do you leave your children with?”Lerda said. “So a lot of immigrants are thinking right now, what kind of legal documents do they need to have with them to leave powers of attorneys or a temporary delegation of parental rights to somebody else, so they will take care of their children."

The fundraiser is expected to raise $15,000.

Justice For Our Neighbors say it takes $500 to provide legal representation for an immigrant.