Things That Matter

Here Are 11 Organizations You Should Know That Are Helping Migrants Held In Detention Centers

The plight of hundreds of migrant children made headlines this week when reports surfaced outlining the harsh living conditions they face at Border Patrol facilities in Texas, including inadequate nutrition and supervision.

In an interview with the Associated Press, lawyers who had visited one facility on the Texas border reported that “kids were taking care of kids” and there was “inadequate food, water, and sanitation.”

At least seven children have died in immigration custody in the past year. The situation has led to public outrage. Wayfair employees even staged a walkout after they discovered the company sold children’s beds and mattresses to a Texas detention camp.

But although Border Patrol won’t take your donation, there are ways to help. Here are nine organizations working to help migrant children that you can donate directly to:

1. RAICES

Credit: @Lazer_Martinez / Twitter

By donating to RAICES, you support every aspect of legal aid for immigrant families. The group aims to provide legal services to every released unaccompanied child in the state, which could be around 13,000 kids. They also aim to pay off immigration bonds to free asylum seekers from ICE custody, letting them reunite with their children. You can also donate directly through their website.

2. ACLU

Credit: @ACLU / Twitter

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit that defends immigrants’ rights. The organization is addressing ICE and border patrol abuse, immigration policies, and more, along with educating the nation on how to uphold the Constitution. You can donate to help the ACLU’s efforts here.

3. Border Angels

Credit: @ViveCosmetics / Twitter

Border Angels is a California-based volunteer organization. Its primary efforts focus on tackling immigration reform and promoting social justice at the US-Mexican border. Donations are used to fund educational programs, free immigration services, and events to support those in need.

4. Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights

Credit: @theYoungCenter / Twitter

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights advocates for the safety and well-being of unaccompanied kids arriving in the United States. The organization works to protect children from harsh immigration laws and recently announced a project specifically dedicated to helping children separated from their parents at the border. You can learn more about the program’s efforts and how to donate here.

5. Save The Children

While Save the Children has long supported kid-centered relief programs for children in the United States, the organization began advocating for the rights of migrant children in June 2018. Their work at the border is focused on providing immediate humanitarian aid to children and families who are newly arrived to the country.

6. Project Corazon

The Lawyers for Good Government Foundation established the Project Corazon Travel Fund in June 2018, a month after The New York Times dropped its report on the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the border. Since then the fund has sent 37 volunteer lawyers and law students to what it calls “the front lines of the humanitarian crisis caused by inhumane immigration policies” so they can provide free legal services to migrants seeking asylum.

Donations to the fund help cover the cost of flights, hotels, rental cars, and meals for volunteer attorneys working pro bono with migrants in refugee camps and remote detention centers.

7. Kids In Need Of Defense

Credit: @supportKIND / Twitter

Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) seeks to ensure that no migrant child appears in immigration court alone by providing free high-quality legal representation. According to their website, they’ve helped more than 18,300 children and seek to advocate for laws and policies that protect children and their rights. You can donate directly to the organization or work with KIND to set up a fundraiser.

8. Immigrant Families Together

Credit: @ImmFamTogether / Twitter

You can help a child be reunited with their parent with a donation to Immigrant Families Together, an organization that works to raise bond funds for detained parents separated from their children. Along with paying the bonds of detained parents, the organization also seeks to provide pro bono legal representation, safe transportation to wherever the children have been taken, and, if needed, housing and resources for families awaiting immigration trials.

9. The Texas Civil Rights Project

For 26 years, The Texas Civil Rights Project has sought to use legal advocacy to drive policy change and protect civil rights in Texas. The organization is specifically helping families detained or separated at the border obtain legal advice and translation services, according to their website. The organization has also pledged to “continue pursuing litigation against federal immigration agencies that refuse to comply with the constitutional right to a fair legal process for all immigrants and asylum seekers.”

10. Act Blue’s Support Kids & Families at the Border

For those with the means of making a monetary donation, but unable to decide just where to send their funds, Act Blue’s Support Kids & Families at the Border campaign may be a worthwhile choice.

Donations to the fund are divided between 14 different organizations, including KIND, ACLU, RAICES, the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, and others. You can opt to allow Act Blue to divide your donation evenly among the groups, or divide it up yourself.

11. Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project

The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) represents families crossing the border and connects them with support systems they wouldn’t normally be able to access. The organization also works to prevent wrongful deportations from the United States and provides legal and emergency services.

Aside from donating to one of the many organizations helping migrants, you can help in other ways too.

While Congress stalls, you can take other kinds of actions to help immigrants in transition, in detention, and in crisis.

Contact your elected officials.

Don’t underestimate the power of pressuring your elected representatives. On Thursday, Congress voted to pass a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid bill for the detained migrant children — a measure President Donald Trump is expected to sign. But there is still work to be done, and you should make your voice heard by reaching out to your lawmakers.

Educate yourself and share accurate information.

Use social media to show your opposition to detention centers and signal-boost accurate information. If you are worried about the impact of the immigration enforcement apparatus in your immediate community, you can attend Know Your Rights trainings in your area. These trainings inform you on what your constitutional rights are (regardless of your immigration status) and how to practice safe bystander intervention when needed.

Attend a protest.

If you’re able and willing to, considering getting out there and protesting. MoveOn, United We Dream, American Friends Service Committee, and Families Belong Together are organizing nationwide #CloseTheCamps rallies.

The Children Of Migrants Need People To FIGHT For Them, These Organizations Make Doing So Easy

Things That Matter

The Children Of Migrants Need People To FIGHT For Them, These Organizations Make Doing So Easy

The situation faced by thousands of migrant children in United States detention centers is dire, to say the least. Regardless of your own political inclination, or whether you believe their parents did the right choice in seeking asylum in the United States, there is no denying that they are experiencing a humanitarian crisis. Stories of children being separated from their families are heartbreaking, and it seems that the system is so overflown that many unaccompanied minors are expected to take care of younger children who bear to relate to them. Their accommodation has been described as “cages” and many sleep on the floor. Bathrooms are scarce and they are receiving little or no legal counsel.

1. KIND (Kids in Need of Defense)

Credit: Instagram. @supportkind

This organization specializes in providing legal representation for migrant children. It also does lobbying efforts to make sure that the rights of these kids are protected. They offer services in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle. It was founded by actress Angelina Jolie and by Brad Smith, from Microsoft.

Learn more here.

2. Raices

Credit: Instagram. @raicestexas

This fantastic organization has mobilized quickly to face the current crisis, offering legal advice (free or low-cost) to immigrant children and families. You can donate or volunteer if you have legal qualifications.

Learn more here.

3. Al Otro Lado

Credit: Instagram. @alotrolado_org

This organization is based in Tijuana. Its name refers to how migrants call the United States: the other side. It has representation in both sides of the border and its mission is:  “Al Otro Lado is a bi-national, direct legal services organization with offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees, that is deeply engaged in efforts to protect the familial rights of migrants”. They have been quite active in the face of the current situation.

Learn more here.

4. Neta

Credit: Instagram. @netargv

This media platform is one of the fastest growing for people of color in the United States. Its vision is “is to inspire and move people to change the world by creating content that amplifies the voices of border residents in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border.” They create content to see the human side of the issue. See, for example, this moving story of a trans-Honduran woman and her journey to the US.

Learn more here.

5. Fronterizo Fianza Fund

Credit: 19-gif. Digital image. Fronterizo Fianza Fund

This organization raised funds to pay bonds for migrants that have been detained. It is a very practical and extremely amazing effort. Their philosophy: “We believe no one should be held in a cage, no matter their status. Abuse, despair, hyper-exploitation, and due process violations are inherent to detention. While people remain detained simply because they can’t pay for their freedom, we will work with them and their families to pay bonds, support people inside, and navigate the long and confusing road to freedom.” Wow, just wow.

Learn more here.

6. Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center

Credit: Instagram. @lasamericasimmigrantadvocacy

This organization based in El Paso, Texas, provides legal representation to migrants who can’t afford it. Its Detained Deportation Defense Program “serves detained migrants in the El Paso Processing Center, Otero Service Center, and West Texas Detention Center, providing high-quality, free, deportation defense services.”

Learn more here.

7. Immigrant Justice Now

Credit: Instagram. @immigrantjusticenow

Sometimes the best way to incite action is through peaceful protest. This entity organizes protests and takes action. Their philosophy: “We oppose the cruel, inhumane and unjustified separation of children from their parents along the US border with Mexico and at other ports of entry into the U.S. We protest the appalling conditions in which families, and indeed all migrants, are kept. We protest the irreversible trauma that has already been perpetrated on these children and their parents for the crime of seeking a better life.” To learn about what you can do, go here.

Learn more here.

8. ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)

Credit: Digital image. ACLU

Sometimes the one thing that migrants need is to know their rights. You can attend a training session or get up to date information of basic rights. Visit this site for more information: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights You can also donate directly to the protection of immigrant rights, including detained children.

Learn more here.

9. South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)

Credit: img.png. Digital image. ABA

This organization is currently supporting more than a thousand unaccompanied children housed in detention centers in the area. The number might seem modest, but each case requires hundreds of legal hours and considerable resources. You can donate to the cause.

Learn more here.

10. Justice in Motion

Credit: Instagram. @justiceinmotion

This group builds networks among NGOs across Mexico, the United States and Central America to share information on parents and children that have been separated so they can be eventually reunited. You can donate here.

Learn more here.

11. The Florence Project

Credit: Twitter. @FlorenceProject

This immigrant and refugee rights project, a ” nonprofit legal service organization providing free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody in Arizona”. Arizona is one of the states that receive less help, even though there is a high number of migrants entering through its border and far-right vigilante groups have been identified in the area.

Learn more here.

12. Project Corazon Travel Fund

Credit: Digital screenshot. Taken from: https://www.lawyersforgoodgovernment.org/travel-fund-overview

This amazing project run by Lawyers for Good Government foundation has sent 37 volunteer lawyers and law students to the border. They do this pro bono. Donations help cover travel and accommodation costs for volunteers.

Learn more here.

13. United We Dream

Credit: Instagram. @unitedwedream

This activist organization has an amazing motto: “When you’re undocumented, you face a lot of discrimination, and that creates a lot of fear. At United We Dream, we transform that fear into finding your voice. We empower people to develop their leadership, their organizing skills, and to develop our own campaigns to fight for justice and dignity for immigrants and all people. This is achieved through immigrant youth-led campaigns at the local, state, and federal level.” It helps migrants along all stages of their journey. One of their main projects is the Deportation Defense Program, which empowers migrants by highlighting their rights.

Learn more here.

14. Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project

Credit: Twitter. @asylumadvocacy

This project uses digital technology to encourage connection among asylum seekers. They represent individuals, including children, who arrive at the US-Mexico border. Their model has three components: “online community support, emergency legal aid, and nationwide systemic reform.”

Learn more here.

15. America’s Voice

Credit: Twitter. @AmericasVoice

Their mission is “to harness the power of American voices and American values to enact policy change that guarantees full labor, civil and political rights for immigrants and their families”. They are a lobbying group that advocates for full rights for immigrants and has tried to hold the Trump administration accountable for injustices.

Learn more here.

This situation has been at the forefront of politics in the past few months, and legislators such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have even toured the facilities. There have been worker strikes in companies such as Wayfair that provide products or services to these facilities, and community organizers have been busy trying to ameliorate the situation. Businesses have also put su granito de arena by either donating money or raising awareness using their social, political and financial networks. Here’s 15 projects and organizations that have contributed to the cause. You can also help by donating to some of these.

After ICE Released DACA Recipient, Her Mother, A Pastor From Colombia, Now Faces Deportation

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After ICE Released DACA Recipient, Her Mother, A Pastor From Colombia, Now Faces Deportation

People with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are sheltered from deportation to an extent. However, they are still vulnerable in several ways and some people with DACA have been deported. Immigration officials say that if someone with criminal activity is protected under DACA they could be deported. Now, a case out of Wisconsin is showing how ICE is using DACA recipients to detain more people.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) first detained 26-year-old Paula Hincapie, who is protected under DACA while she was taking her daughter to work.

According to several news reports, Hincapie was in the car with her small child when ICE agents detained her during a traffic stop. For reasons unknown, the immigration officials then drove her to her home in Chicago where her parents were at the time,

One report says that 20 armed ICE agents raided her home and detained her mom, dad, and cousin.

“This was a carefully planned raid that involved a lot of heavy-duty police force, multiple police vehicles, maybe 20 police officers, all of them armed as though they were invading a space where there was some kind of dangerous criminal,” Stephanie Mitchell, a professor at Carthage College who knows Rendon, told Racine Journal Times.

Her mom is Rev. Betty Rendón at the Emaus ELCA, a Lutheran church in Racine, Wisconsin. She’s also an asylum seeker from Colombia.

The church where Rendón works released the following statement on Facebook to tell the community what happened to her and her family. Also, to share the manner in which they were detained.

“The agents took the wheel of the car and drove them back to the house, where Pastor Rendón’s husband, Carlos, was leaving home for work. The agents shouted at him in English, which he does not speak well, shook him violently, and shoved him towards the car. They ordered him to open the door of the house. Once the door was open, they forced their way in. A group of ICE vehicles with numerous officers then converged on the house and poured inside, brandishing their weapons and pointing them at the family. Pastor Rendón was still in her pajamas. They did not allow her to get dressed but handcuffed her as she was. Her granddaughter screamed and cried while the officers searched until they found their houseguest, a cousin, who had fled into the basement to hide. They handcuffed him as well. Having arrested all of the adults in the home, the officers allowed Pastor Rendón to phone the child’s other grandparents so that they could come to collect her. While doing that, she managed to send a short text to the church to inform us that she would likely not be able to preach on Sunday. Pastor Rendón was particularly struck by the celebratory tone of the officers. They were jubilant because they had managed to arrest so many people in a single raid.”

According to USA Today, the family fled Colombia and arrived in the U.S. in 2004. In 2009, their asylum application denied, but according to the publication, deportation wasn’t enforced.

The church and the community is demanding that ICE release Pastor Rendón and her family.

Facebook/@EmausELCA

“We are going to fight to keep this family together,” Christine Neumann-Ortiz, an immigration advocate in Miluakee that is working on the case said in an interview with USA Today.

Click here for more information about helping Rev. Rendón

READ: Migrants Are Being Detained Indefinitely By The Trump Administration. Here’s How They’re Getting The Word Out