Peace with Justice Sunday provides grants to ministries such as Justice For Our Neighbors in Southeast Michigan.
In his journey from Bangladesh to the United States, Samil traveled through 10 countries – United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico.
In 2015, crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S., he was immediately detained and incarcerated in Texas for eight months. Fleeing religious persecution in his home country, he had left his wife and two young sons in hiding.
In August, Samil arrived at a detention center in Monroe, Michigan, where he met Elizabeth Hammer. She is a volunteer with the Interfaith Detainee Visitation Program (IDVP) and a member of First United Methodist Church, Chelsea, Michigan. After learning Samil’s story through an Arabic-English speaking detainee, Hammer began advocating for him.
Melanie Goldberg, an attorney with Justice for Our Neighbors-Southeastern Michigan (JFON-SEMI), met with local friends of Samil to review his case. Goldberg put him in touch with the Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center. A lawyer immediately agreed to represent and continues to support Samil. Despite denial of his request for political asylum, Samil and his attorney await a favorable appeal.