THE WACO IMMIGRANTS ALLIANCE IS
A COMMUNITY-LED ORGANIZATION
What We Do
Educate the community on immigration issues and their effects on our city and its people
Provide “Know Your Rights” info sessions, panels, legal referrals, and other resources to the community
Encourage and empower churches to know how to speak about the topic in a truthful and loving way
Equip community leaders and other service providers with tools to serve their people through basic legal information and referrals to relevant services
Work to end the isolation of immigrant detention through visitation programs
Advocate alongside immigrants and allies through action such as letter writing, vigils, marches, and legislative visits
Support and promote comprehensive reform that ends the privatization of immigrant detention and creates a path to citizenship
Assist eligible families with fundraising campaigns for detention & deportation defense
Manage the Waco Community Defense Hotline for immigrants in crisis
W.I.A is a grassroots community organization that works to make Waco a safe, welcoming, and equitable place for every immigrant.
300+ families served
10+ years of service
Reaching 10+ Counties
Waco Immigrants Alliance first began as the Waco Dream Act Alliance (WDAA) - a group founded by the members of Hope Fellowship Church in 2010. Several of their members were "Dreamers," or young undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their parents as minors. The group held film screenings, marches and other events to promote education and advocacy for the Dream Act, a bill that would have provided a path to legal status for Dreamers, and yet was filibustered in the Senate that year. However, the WDAA also came alongside several families who were fighting deportations, to support them and offer resources and care.
Hope Balfa Mustakim
Executive Director / Community Organizer
Hope Balfa-Mustakim is a graduate of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University, where she earned her Bachelor's and Master's of Social Work with a concentration in Community Practice. She serves on the Board of Directors for Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based organization that for over 20 years has been the front-runner in the work to end prison profiteering, mass incarceration, and deportation.
Hope was introduced to the work of immigration policy in 2011, when a close family member was picked by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in the early morning hours and detained in a South Texas detention center for nearly a year. During that time, Hope's family fought a very public deportation defense that gained local, state, national, and international attention. During that time, Hope was connected with advocates and activists all across the state and country and began cultivating relationships that have remained valuable to our work today. Although their family won their case, Hope was committed to the work of immigrant rights from that day forward.
Over these past 9 years, Hope has received extensive training on strategic planning and communications, nonviolent civil disobedience and direct action, base building and organizing for social justice, and much more. She often serves as a local expert on the topic of immigration policy and its affect on local families, and cultural responsive social work with immigrant families. In May 2018, Hope submitted and was awarded a large grant from the Four Freedoms Fund, that would sustain our work through the next 3 years. She is the proud mother of two preschool-age children and their family schnauzer, and has resided in Waco since 2009.