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.

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