Things That Matter

RAICES Collects Millions To Help Keep Families Together. Here’s Where The Money Is Going

There are several organizations that are fighting against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and travel bans. Even though President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep families together, the families, however, will remain detained, and still need legal representation, housing opportunities, meals, and much more. The 2,300 children already separated from their parents will remain separated and need legal representation to be reunited.

Some of those nonprofits that are helping people as they make their way to the border and being held in immigration detention include the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), Momastery, Annunciation House, Al Ortro Lado, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Texas Civil Rights Project. But there’s one organization that has surpassed donations of all of these, and exceeded their own goals much of everyone’s surprise.

In less than two weeks, a viral fundraiser on Facebook has raised more than $20 million for RAICES.

RAICES, which means “roots” in Spanish and stands for Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services,is the largest immigration legal service group in Texas. The fundraiser is the largest fundraiser in Facebook’s history.

“We’ve had moments of ecstasy and there have been a lot of tears in response to this outpouring of support,” Jonathan Ryan, executive director of RAICES, told The New York Times. “But those moments of joy are curtailed by a realization of great responsibility.”

The organization has been around for the past 30 years. Here’s some of the legal services they provide:

  • Asylum
  • Relative Petitions
  • Adjustment of Status
  • Employment Authorization
  • Cancellation of Removal
  • Naturalization
  • Citizenship
  • U Visas (for victims of crimes [and their immediate family members] who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity).
  • T Visas (for certain victims of human trafficking and immediate family members to remain and work temporarily in the United States, typically if they agree to assist law enforcement in testifying against the perpetrators).
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • The Violence Against Women Act

In a Facebook Live event, staff from RAICES said that the organization has closed thousands of immigration cases in their 30 years of service.

The fundraiser began on June 16 when Charlotte and Dave Willner of San Francisco saw the picture of the crying toddler surrounded by Border Patrol agents.

So they started a Facebook fundraiser for RAICES and had an original goal of $1,500.

“When we look at the faces of these children, we can’t help but see our own children’s faces,” Charlotte told The Mercury News.

The fundraiser went viral and began to have matching donations. There’s so many donations happening at one time that their website has reached capacity. Dave Willner  said on Facebook that donations are coming in at about $4,000 every minute.

In a statement to CNN, RAICES said: “We do not have the words to thank Charlotte and Dave Willner. We’ve been occasionally crying around the office all day when we check the fundraising totals. There are terrible things happening in the world. And there are many people who are deciding not to look away but to do something.”

RAICES held a Facebook Live event in order to discuss what they’re planning on doing with the millions they have collected.

RAICES Fundraising Update!

RAICES Fundraising Updates with Director of Family Detention Manoj Govindaiah, Director of the Children’s Program Mayra Jimenez, and Asst. Director of Outreach Barbara Peña.

Posted by RAICES on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

For starters, their main objective is to make sure all of the children being detained separately from their parents have competent legal representation in court. The organization is made up of several volunteer attorneys that are working to ensure these kids are represented and reunited with their families.

They said a lot of kids they’re helping are located in Dallas and San Antonio area, and have also hired new staff to help manage the cases.

RAICES has two major initiatives at the moment. One is called the Leaf Project and the other is the Families Together Project.

“As hundreds of children are being ripped away from their parents at the Texas-Mexico border, RAICES received word this week that funding to represent unaccompanied children is ending,” RAICES states on their website. “Children with representation are not lost. More than 90 percent of children with representation continue on with their court case. Children with representation are five times more likely to be successful in their case than children who go to court alone. Representation is often the last line of safety for children very vulnerable to exploitation by both a system and a country hostile to their presence.”

Through the Families Together Project, RAICES can reunite families by paying their bond. “The Parents separated from their children at the border (and other immigrants placed in detention) can’t get released from ICE custody to reunite with their families until they pay the full amount of their immigration bond,” RAICES states on their website. “Bonds are set at a MINIMUM of $1500, and are usually in the range of $5-10K, even for asylum seekers without any criminal history.”

RAICES said via Facebook Live that the money raised is going directly to them and they’re working on using it both short term and long term.

They said Facebook has helped facilitate those funds in order for them to use it as efficiently as possible to make sure no child should ever go without a lawyer in court.

For people wanting to help but cannot donate to their fundraiser, RAICES recommends going to immigration court and observing what it’s like for people to go to court without representation. They also suggest people educate themselves on this issue, calling your local senator, go to a protest, attending a vigil because every action matters.


READ: Trump Administration Claims Babies Separated From Families Are Being Held In ‘Tender Age’ Shelters

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Christmas Came Early Folks! Turns Out Kelly Anne Conway’s Daughter Is A Liberal

Things That Matter

Christmas Came Early Folks! Turns Out Kelly Anne Conway’s Daughter Is A Liberal

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

When it comes to Kelly Anne Conway, it turns out her apples are falling far from the tree.

That’s right, Kellyanne Conway counselor to President Donald Trump, the
“alternative facts” spin doctor, and Republican nutcracker, has a liberal daughter. Claudia Conway is the teenage daughter of the controversial Republican and it turns out that while her mother very well may be a fan of the extremely problematic president with White nationalist ties, she is an ardent Trump critic.

Recently videos and posts shared from Claudia’s TikTok and Instagram posts revealed at least one out of four of Conway’s children isn’t a fan of her mother’s political party.

New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz thrust Claudia into the spotlight earlier this week when she shared a string of videos taken and posed by the teenager which feature her ribbing Trump supporters for their politics. In several posts, Claudia encouraged TikTok followers, which the Times has said clocks in at 16,000, to leave one-star reviews of the president’s businesses. She has also used her pages to make fun of the difficulty of having political opinions different from that of her politically polarized parents.

“Believe it or not you can have your own opinions simply by educating yourself,” Claudia said in one video.

In another TikTok post, Claudia wrote “why do people hate on trump supporters… like why can’t we just respect everyone’s opinions? SIKE nah block me pls and then educate yourself.”

Note: Ivanka Trump DOES follow Claudia on Instagram which means this teen has some cajones.

Claudia has also expressed support for Black Lives Matter protests.

In the bio section of her TikTok account, Claudia writes, “it’s a great day to arrest brett hankison, john mattingly, and myles cosgrove.” The post is a reference to the death of Breonna Taylor who was shot and killed by Louisville, Kentucky police in her own home. According to The Washington Post, Taylor’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers. As of today, only Brett Hankison has been fired from the Louisville Metro Police.

Claudia isn’t the first Conway with liberals to cause some trouble for Kellyanne.

Conway’s husband George Conway, whom she married in April 2001, has been vocal about his negative opinions of Donald Trump. Throughout Trump’s presidency, Conway has questioned the president’s mental health, judgment, and intelligence. He has also drawn criticism from the president directly.

In 2019, Trump tweeted about Conway’s marriage to George Conway writing “George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!” 

In a comment to Claudia’s recent post about having different opinions than your parents, one follower wrote “Hello sis welcome to the left,” to which Claudia replied. “Hehe I’ve been here girly.”

First Their Food Samples, Now Costco’s Canceled Their Sheet Cakes— What Next The Apocalypse?

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First Their Food Samples, Now Costco’s Canceled Their Sheet Cakes— What Next The Apocalypse?

Tim Boyle / Getty

Life’s rough for a Costco customer these days.

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, card-carrying Costco lovers have faced product restrictions, long lines, and the suspension of food samples. Now the membership-only warehouse has eliminated their iconic half-sheet cakes.

You know. The delicious sugary cakes that have been there for you for every birthday, pool party, and graduation. Even worse? the blow comes right on the heels of July 4th.

Costco quietly put a halt to selling the $20 half-sheet cakes in all of its stores.

The brand has instead been steering to customers toward its 10-inch round cakes and their other baked goods. Outraged customers were quick to spark complaints on Twitter and Facebook promoting the brand to explain in a statement to its Facebook account. “To help limit personal contact and create more space for social distancing, Costco has reduced service in some departments,” Costco wrote on their Facebook page. In a statement to CNN Business, Costco confirmed it’s not selling the half-sheet cakes anymore but has “no immediate plans” to bring it back.

The decision corresponds with recommendations from various US states and health agencies to avoid or prohibit large gatherings amid the current Covid-19 pandemic. Real fans of Costco’s sheet cakes know that they serve about 50 people. And while of course, we know that the store’s decision to promote social distancing is a good one, we still can mourn the indefinite loss of one of America’s greatest comfort foods.