Building Pathways to Safety and Immigration Justice

Summer Zibdeh

My first full-time week at Mobile Pathways was a haze of confusion and doubt. Not in the work itself, as I’m very passionate about the mission to provide fair access to justice for underserved immigrants. And not in the technical aspects, as I’ve been providing data-driven insights via Salesforce for over seven years.

The haze came from something deeper, more personal. As I’m an ethnic Palestinian living in Texas, the state of the world leaves me facing a dilemma of my human being.

As pathways to safety crumble, I am heartbroken while glued to the news that I cannot stop watching.

The more I learn, the less motivation I have to go through my day. 

And no matter who you believe may be right or wrong, I hope we can all agree that the dignity of every human life is equal. Everyone deserves a pathway to safety, everyone deserves the opportunity to live a better life.

Growing up as the daughter of immigrants, I have seen the struggles that come with pursuing the American Dream and demanding immigration justice.The sacrifices, the obstacles, and the sheer determination needed to succeed in a new country can sometimes seem insurmountable. That is why I am so passionate about Mobile Pathways' goal to provide fair access to justice for all immigrants. 

Why am I passionate about providing pathways to safety and justice for all immigrants?

Two words: my parents.

My father, a Palestinian, always dreamed of living in America. He grew up in Jordan, but it was not an easy place to build a future for oneself. Finally, he decided to leave Jordan and pursue his dream of living in America. In his early 20s, he emigrated to the U.S., and through hard work and determination, he built a life here in my native Texas. 

My mother, on the other hand, came to America as a refugee from El Salvador. She fled the civil war in her early 20s, seeking safety and a better future. Her journey to the U.S. was not an easy one, and she had to cross the border illegally to get here. 

I have seen firsthand the difference that organizations like Mobile Pathways can make in helping immigrants get fair access to justice. My parents' journeys to the U.S. were not easy, as the pathways to safety were few, but they succeeded with the help of people who believed in them. 

I am now committed to paying that help forward and helping others achieve their goals. 

I have been to Jordan and Palestine and I imagine how different my life would be if I were living there. It frequently crosses my mind how I wouldn’t even exist if my parents’ lives hadn’t crossed paths. Both of my parents made their way to the United States, were given the opportunity to work and prosper, and finally became citizens. They are now living their American dream because they had the opportunity. And now, I get to live it. 

One of my favorite things about living in Texas is literally its shape which can be recognized globally. I love that Texas is full of diversity and opportunity, yet Texas border policies are stripping people of their human dignity. The images of razor wire were particularly disturbing to me, a cruel manifestation of how far the Texas border policy of Operation Lone Star has gone in ruining the reputation of my home state.

Rather than building machines meant to kill and maim, I know we can champion human dignity in Texas with innovation that unites our communities to move beyond our cruel Texas border policies.We must support immigrants seeking opportunities to become Americans and give our new neighbors fair access to justice.

This big vision begins with small steps. In my current role at Mobile Pathways, I will guide the direction of tech for good and ensure that our immigration nonprofit partners get the best possible experience of MyCamino. Via our MyCamino platform - powered by Salesforce and Twilio - we streamline communications, automate critical processes, and deliver data-driven insights for immigration nonprofits to provide fair access to justice for underserved immigrants.

I love working with Salesforce and Twilio because they can do everything. Both are monster platforms that empower our team to build creatively while providing data-driven insights to our immigration nonprofit partners.

I am a lifelong learner and enjoy keeping up with the new technologies, features, and certifications offered by Salesforce. Most importantly, I love working with Mobile Pathways’ immigration nonprofit partner organizations. Learning their challenges while offering solutions that drive fair access to justice for immigrants sparks joy even in the darkest of times.

Their passion helps lift the haze and roots me in the purpose of my work.

When we uplift immigrants, we uplift our entire community. Our neighborhoods become vibrant and our economies improve. The stories of my parents and so many others like them are a testament to the incredible strength and resilience of immigrants. They have overcome incredible obstacles to achieve their goals and contribute to this country in countless ways. 

Organizations like Mobile Pathways are essential in helping immigrants unlock their full potential and build a better life for themselves and their families. I am proud to do my humble part in our wider mission, and to work towards a future where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Let’s make technologies that are bridges for justice, not walls that deny pathways to safety and justice.