Here’s how you can help Rosa Maria Ortega and her family


The lawyer of a Texas woman who was sentenced to eight years in prison for casting Republican ballots, unaware she wasn’t allowed, has set up a GoFundMe campaign in the hopes of raising at least $10,000 for her four children.

Clark Birdsall, the lawyer, wrote:

Rosa Maria Ortega was brought to America by her mother, and abandoned shortly thereafter. She quit school in the 6th grade and never knew that her residence status did not confer voting rights to her. The State of Texas prosecuted her for Illegal Voting and a jury sentenced her to 8 years in prison. When she finished serving her sentence, she will be deported. She leaves abandoned and uncared for 4 minor children. Her plight has been written up in the New York Times and many other media outlets.
I am the lawyer who represented her, and I am trying to provide for her kids, since she no longer can. Many of you have asked if there is anything you can do, so here it is. As of this writing, it is unclear which family member, if any, will take over the chores of raising Rosa’s kids, but whatever you give will go straight to her kids.

You can read my commentary on the case here.

As of Thursday afternoon the campaign had raised a little over $3,000, with donors urging Birdsall to fight appeal (he told The New York Times he would). “America should be better than to let this happen to you, Rosa Maria,” one wrote. “I saw your daughter’s quote, saying she is not afraid. This gives me hope that she will be part of the future of our country.”

Our senior correspondent J. Malcolm Garcia has been in touch with Birdsall and Ortega’s family. We’ll have more updates as soon as we can.