Group of local grandmas lead 'overground migrant railroad'

As the nation stands divided over immigration, a group of grandmothers, are showing compassion toward migrants being let out of detention centers.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – At first, it was a running joke for Sharon and Beth.

Their 4-person mission has grown exponentially since last year when the pair had a real moral crisis on how they can help families, mothers, fathers, and children separated at the US-Mexico border.

“When we first started this mission, it was just three Presbyterian women and an 89-year-old priest,” Sharon Kutz-Mellem said. Now, the group totals nearly 200 volunteers.

To read more, click here.

Podcast: Chris Goudreau on Valley residents responding to the border crisis

Chris Goudreau, associate editor of the Valley Advocate, speaks with editor Dave Eisenstadter about his recent cover story, “From the Valley to the Border: Sickening news on the treatment of migrants inspiring locals to travel down to help.” Hear how he developed the story, speaking to members of Serving Asylum Seekers, Team Brownsville, and Grannies Respond, and what local residents will be doing at the Mexican border.

Read more here:

'Leaders of Tomorrow' Series: Clark University Students Providing Assistance to Asylum Seekers at US-Mexico Border

Katie Larrivee is pictured with another volunteer.

Katie Larrivee is pictured with another volunteer.

The following report was provided by Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden.

WORCESTER, MA — On June 26, seven students from Clark University in Worcester traveled to McAllen, Texas, where they will spend the next several weeks providing assistance to asylum seekers entering the United States at its border with Mexico.

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From the Valley to the Border: Sickening news on the treatment of migrants inspiring locals to travel down to help

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Sharon Lehmann, 69, was watching the news on TV at her home in Granby more than a month ago and saw a story about militia groups aiming guns at migrant families. She turned to her partner, Audrey Walker, 66, and said, “I can’t watch this. I just can’t do this anymore. I have to do something.”

An online search for ways to get involved led the couple to reach out to Texas-based volunteer organization Team Brownsville, one of many groups offering food, water, and other assistance at the border. Soon, Lehmann and Walker formed their own local group: Serving Asylum Seekers.

To read more, click here.

Mother’s Day Rally for End to Immigrant Family Separation, Child Detention


On Mother's Day this year, join us in a conversation about families who won't be together. Families separated by our government, children still living in a tent city outside Miami, in Homestead, the only for-profit child detention center in the country. I'll be in DC but you can participate from anywhere. Tweet, post on Facebook, donate to the ACLU or your chosen charity, have a conversation. Spread the hashtag: #MotherOfExiles.

WHAT: Mother’s Day Rally for End to Immigrant Family Separation, Child Detention

WHEN: Sunday, May 12, Noon-2 p.m.

WHERE: Capitol Reflecting Pool, Washington, D.C.



* Co-sponsors of the rallies include CAIR (Capital Area Immigrant Rights) Coalition, Immigrant Justice Now, MamásConPoder/MomsRising, Faith in Public Life, Public Citizen, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and others.

Sister rallies are scheduled nationwide in Texas (Dallas, Austin, El Paso, Brownsville, McAllen, Corpus Christi), New York (Albany), Florida (St. Petersburg, Homestead), Maine (Waterville), Vermont (Lyndonville), Colorado (Denver), California (Ventura), Washington (Orcas Island, Seattle), New Hampshire (Milford), Connecticut (New Haven), Minnesota (St. Paul), Alaska (Juneau), and others.

Please share with friends! #MotherOfExiles

Grannies Respond / Abuelas Responden is now a 501(c)3!

Grannies Respond / Abuelas Responden is pleased to announce that we have been granted our 501(c)3, non-profit status! 
Your tax-deductible donations will directly provide necessities for asylum seekers traveling across our country on often long bus journeys to their sponsors without food, water, diapers, formula, and more.

Donate here:

Grandmothers Help Asylum Seekers

This video was just shared with us by Melissa Aperico.
Thank you for your recognition of the awesome humanitarian aide being provided by Grannies at bus stations!

It’s important to mention that the inspiration to provide support at bus stations came from Angry Tias & Abuelas of the Rio Grande Valley and Sergio Córdova who have been providing incredible support in McAllen and Brownsville. A shout out also to volunteers from the Interfaith Welcome Coalition and Raices who have been providing daily support at the San Antonio bus station. They are all true heroes!

Update from Homestead

From Granny Val:

This morning I arrived a bit late due to daylight savings, only to find out that Sen. Merkley was there on a surprise inspection tour.
Though I missed his arrival, I was honored to speak with him before he left. He explained that the conditions here were not the primary concern, but rather the structural policy of the criminalization of immigration. 
I have no doubt that there may be abuses like the public phone area where one might report sexual abuse, or the disciplinary procedures that are not available to see, but our immigration system is broken for all who seek to become American citizens. 
It's time to fix it, for their benefit and ours. We need these immigrants.
And, we need to close Homestead and send these children to be with their family members.