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:
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.
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
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
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
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
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.