Q&A: Charleston Lawyer Volunteers to Help People Who Cross Mexico Border

Aug 21, 2019

Migrants from central America continue to come across the U.S.-Mexico border, including many children, and many of them are seeking asylum. On this West Virginia Morning, we hear two stories about how immigration affects people in West Virginia.

First, we hear from an immigration lawyer based in Charleston. Paul Saluja represents many immigrants in West Virginia who are trying to get their citizenship. But an increased need for pro-bono lawyers nationally has inspired him to spend a few months this fall volunteering out West. He’ll be representing families and children who traveled across the Mexican border. Roxy Todd spoke with Saluja about immigration across the country, and here in the Mountain State.

And for more than a decade, more than 100 migrant and refugee families from countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Guatemala have come to Moorefield, West Virginia. Many work for Pilgrim’s Pride, a large poultry plant that is Hardy County’s biggest employer, with 1,700 workers.

For the past six months, 100 Days in Appalachia reporter Anna Patrick has been working on two stories exploring Moorefield’s growing migrant and refugee population. Her stories include a profile of one Moorefield woman who teaches English to some of the new community members.

Our reporter in the Eastern Panhandle, Liz McCormick, spoke with Anna about her stories.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.