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Mother of two was forced to flee

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Editor’s note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

Rape and murder forced this family to flee from Mexico and seek asylum in the United States.

Now living in Medford and working to finalize her legal U.S. residency, the 46-year-old mother of two children has severely limited financial means while she awaits government clearance to work.

Her electricity was recently shut off, making some new, large blankets a pressing need this winter. She also would welcome gift cards to Walmart, where she could buy food and other necessities for herself and her children.

Born in the United States, this woman’s 4-year-old son has severe health conditions that require ongoing medical treatment, which he receives in Medford. Her daughter, now 16, was raped at the age of 7 while living with her family in Mexico. When her mother reported the crime to police, the girl’s uncle was murdered in retribution by members of a cartel, says Laura Lindley-Gutierrez of The Center for NonProfit Legal Services.

This single mother has many legal needs, including family law and immigration law, says Lindley-Gutierrez, a lawyer who works in the CNPLS’s Immigration Law Project. The CNPLS office in downtown Medford offers legal services for qualifying low-income and elderly residents of Jackson County under the mission of providing access to justice, regardless of clients’ financial means. CNPLS also prioritizes assisting survivors of crimes with quality legal services, which requires continued financial support.

To help, call Lindley-Gutierrez at 541-779-7292. The CNPLS office will be closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1. Email Lindley-Gutierrez at l.gutierrez@cnpls.net with any questions during that time.

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