Danny Olivas, El Paso's astronaut, raising money for immigrants' legal representation
El Paso’s own astronaut Danny Olivas was back in the Borderland Saturday campaigning for his charity "Between Land and Sea, Borders from Space.”
Olivas says that he and his wife created the charity, which supports the Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, inc. (DMRS), after seeing the separation of immigrant families under President Trump’s “Zero-Tolerance policy.”
DMRS is the largest provider of free and low-cost immigration legal services in West Texas and New Mexico.
“We felt we wanted to get involved because this is not something that we see ourselves, as Americans, supporting,” Olivas said. “We’re parents ourselves. We have five children.”
Olivas says they want to raise awareness and funding for immigrant children to receive adequate legal representation and advocacy.
"Everybody deserves a day in court, and everyone deserves an opportunity to be adequately represented in court,” Olivas said. “The challenge now is that many of these children, some of them don't even know their last names. They may not know the full name of their parents."
According to DMRS, it costs an estimated $1,800 to provide legal representation for one child who is seeking asylum in the United States, or who needs to be reunited with their family. They hope to raise enough money to cover the legal expenses for 10 children.
Marie Olivas, Danny’s wife, started “Olivas Border Blog” on Facebook, where they catalog things happening with immigration policies. On their page, they invite friends and people to get involved and help immigrants and the organizations that support them.