Civil rights group FIEL helps families navigate immigration system

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- FIEL, an immigrant-led civil rights organization, has been in Houston since 2007. Its founders never imagined how much the organization would grow following its inception.

"We started as a grassroots student organization at Houston Community College and the University of Houston," said executive director Cesar Espinosa. "We grew, little by little, into being the largest civil rights organization in the State of Texas."

FIEL offers a variety of services for immigrants and their families hoping to navigate the immigration system. Their most famous case, according to Espinosa, involved a man named Jose Escobar. He was deported to El Salvador in 2017, which led FIEL to make many calls, consult attorneys, and stay in communication with everyone from local to federal officials.

"We were able to bring Jose back as a permanent resident and reunited him with his family" said Espinosa.

FIEL has spent most of its time as strictly an immigrant-rights organization, but the last year has changed the dynamic of their mission. They still work on immigration issues, but have started working on a variety of causes that help people in need. For example, they've spent the COVID-19 pandemic giving out food and helping people from being evicted.

"We've always been an organization that responds to what the community needs," said Espinosa.

Visit FielHouston.org for more information on the FIEL's services.
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