Advocates raise money to reunite kids with dads in ICE custodyPosted: Updated:
Immigration advocacy groups in Westchester are trying to raise money to help children see their fathers who are currently in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jozelyn Zhinin, 8, doesn't want an iPod Touch or a new toy. All she wants this holiday season is to see her dad.
"This year my wish is for my dad to come back," says Zhinin.
Unfortunately her wish can't come true. Manuel Zhinin, of Peekskill, is in ICE custody more than 1,000 miles away in Alabama. She hasn't seen her dad for a year.
"For Thanksgiving, the summer and all the holidays I really miss him a lot and this Christmas Eve is my special Christmas Eve for him to come back," says Zhanin.
Luis Yumbla says his organization, the Hudson Valley Community Coalition, and several other groups are raising money to reunite Jozelyn and three other kids whose fathers are also being detained in Alabama.
Requests to visit their dads has not yet been approved by ICE.
"We cannot understand. They don't allow the families to visit them it's so cruel, so inhuman that it happened," says Yumbla.
Advocates are also reaching out to local lawmakers hoping for a holiday miracle.
A fundraiser to help the kids see their fathers will be held Friday at the South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry. There's also a GoFundMe page set up to raise money.