Hello and thank you for visiting my page,
My name is Irida Kakhtiranova and I am a mother, wife, and resident of Western Massachusetts where I have lived and worked for over ten years. On April 6th, 2018, facing deportation and being seperated from my family, I took sanctuary with the Unitarian Society of Northampton. I am now asking this wonderful and supportive community for help as I fight an unjust immigration system and try and keep my family together.
You can read a little about my story here: .
Life doesn’t always go as planned and, as hard as it is now, I have loved the life I have made in this country. I originally came to the United States from Russia in 2003. Soon thereafter I met and fell in love with my husband, who is a U.S. citizen and, in 2007, I gave birth to my oldest child, a funny and strong boy who is now ten years old. A few years later we had twin girls who are now four years old. We are a very close and loving family.
My husband has been sick for the last few years and is unable to work. Because of this, I have been the sole breadwinner for the family. Luckily, I am very hard working and have been employed as a waitress at a local restaurant for the past seven years. By serving members of this community food, I have learned about your lives and your stories. I love people and I especially love how accepting and kind people here are. Together you have shared your stories, joys, and sorrows, while I have served you tea and coffee, burgers and fries. It is a humbling experience to ask for help in any way but I know that this area is supportive and kind and I know I will continue to give back in my own way when I am able.
I don’t know how long I will be in sanctuary but I know that I will fight as long as I need to protect my family and keep us together. I am so grateful for the unbelievable community here at the UU and the Pioneer Valley Worker’s Center who have given me a place to stay, volunteers to support me, and comfort in this difficult time. My children and husband come and visit me on the weekends and, because I cannot work, we need financial assistance to pay our rent and provide for their daily needs. I will also be working with lawyers to help me fight my deportation and will need to pay for legal assistance and any fees to the court.
I am so grateful to each and every one of you who is reading this letter. Even if you cannot financially assist me I would appreciate it if you would share this letter with any family and friends. Trenton Lee Stewart said, "Is this what family is like: the feeling that everyone is connected, that with one piece missing, the whole thing is broken?" and I hold that deep in my heart. We are all connected and I am grateful for your support in fighting for me and my family.
I greatly appreciate the help and I want you to know that it is you and my family that keep me going every day.