Fundraiser to help Turbin’s legal fight for asylum |

Fundraiser to help Turbin’s legal fight for asylum

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A Sunday benefit will raise money to help Jose Mendoza Turbin in his ongoing legal battle to avoid deportation and gain political asylum in the United States.

The event will run from 3-8 p.m. Sunday at Glenwood Springs High School, with a silent auction, food, and indoor soccer games from 3-6 p.m. Sign up for soccer will be in the gym. The cost will be $2 per person.

“It’s just amazing, the community support that has come out for this,” said Ginny Badger, a teaching assistant at Glenwood Springs High School who is helping to organize the event with Annie Brooks, also a GSHS teacher.

“The big draw is going be the soccer games and silent auction,” she said. “We have thousands of dollars worth of stuff donated, and lots of great deals on all kinds of goods and services.”

Proceeds from the benefit will go to help defer Turbin’s legal expenses, as he awaits a ruling on whether he will be allowed to stay and continue his education in this country.

Turbin, 21, came to the U.S. from El Salvador at age 17 to escape gang violence. He applied for asylum soon after arriving. Meanwhile, he learned English and graduated from Glenwood Springs High School, and has gone on to continue his education at Colorado Mountain College with hopes of pursuing a nursing career.

He was facing deportation last month, but earned a reprieve at a hearing in Grand Junction on Feb. 16.

According to Turbin’s attorney, Shelley Wittevrongel, he now has an application pending before the Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals seeking to reopen his case for asylum.

A separate application before Immigration and Customs Enforcement seeks a stay of removal, based on the claim that the Glenwood Springs community would benefit by allowing him to remain in the country.

“Jose is such a remarkable education story,” Badger said. “Literally, he went from a fifth grade education to 12th grade in three-and-a-half years, and in another language.

“We’re all a family here at this school, and we felt compelled to help him,” she said. “There are situations such as Jose’s, where sending a person away is not in the best interests of the United States.

“This young man has an exceptional story and exceptional abilities, and we need to keep him here,” she said.

To donate silent auction items or food for the event, contact Annie Brooks at 945-8970 or

Financial contributions may also be sent to the U.S. Bank Jose Mendoza Turbin benefit account.

Contact John Stroud: 384-9160

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