Counter Immigrant Detention w/ Donations
America learned that its government had enacted a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on people crossing the border in the last few weeks. This meant they were arrested before having the opportunity to request asylum. In an absurd turn, it also meant that they had decided to separate and hold the children of these migrants.
We learned of parents being told their children were being taken to be bathed and then not hearing from them again. We learned of a care worker who quit his job because he was told to break up hugging siblings. We learned of babies in cages together and children being drugged with antipsychotic medications to make them docile. We also learned that the government has no plant to return these children, and that we still have no idea where any of the girls have been sent.
America’s conscience, at least rhetorically on the internet, grew as people expressed their horror at this policy and discussed doing something about it.
We also learned that the Obama Administration had a policy of locking-up unattended, child migrants and people asked, “Why or how didn’t we know?”
It turned out some people had known. Immigration lawyers knew.
In this Twitter-thread from @ImmCivilRights an immigration lawyer discusses his conversation when he asked Barack Obama to reverse his course on caging kids.
Thread: How did we get here?
In 2015, I shook President Obama’s hand, thanked him for DACA, and asked him to reverse course & close the for-profit baby jails (also known as “family detention centers”) he opened in Dilley & Karnes City, Texas. What he said shook me to my core 1/ pic.twitter.com/K5vi6S2RPj
— R. Andrew Free (@ImmCivilRights) June 19, 2018
He learned that Obama justified his policy as a deterrent. Obama said, “I’ll tell you what we can’t have. It’s these parents sending their kids here on a dangerous journey and putting their lives at risk.”
Thus, these children go through something horrible and the American government puts them through more horror because if we didn’t, other kids would go through something horrible.
And Donald Trump continues to use this rhetoric with a slightly less humanitarian tone. When signing a bill that would cage the families together he said, “if you’re really, really pathetically weak, the country is going to be overrun with millions of people. And if you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart. That’s a tough dilemma.”
My take: He has mistaken strength for fear and weakness for compassion.
At the end of @ImmCivilRights’ thread he recommended several organizations who provide legal support, community building, and other services to migrants and asylum seekers. Please consider donating to their endeavors.
Innovation Law Lab @ThinkLawLab
The organization runs several projects focused on providing legal services to immigrants.
A statement on their homepage reads, “We envision a world where every case that should win, does win, every time, everywhere. We work where the threat is greatest – where people and legal systems are most vulnerable to attack. We are deployed in immigrant detention centers and hostile judicial jurisdictions across the United States.”
Their projects help provide legal services to people who need representation, they work on getting people out of detention, they teach immigrants about American immigration law, they train advocates to help, and they provide stipends to immigration lawyers willing to come and help out.
The Center For Gender and Refugee Studies @CGRShastings
CGRS focuses their legal services on women, children, and the LGBTQ community. The following statement is on their website, “We envision a world where no refugee is denied her right to protection.”
They provide support to asylum attorneys, connect asylum seekers with social and legal services, track asylum seekers as they navigate the immigration process, and work on legislation and research regarding immigration.
Donate here and consider naming them as your charity on AmazonSmile.
Grassroots Leadership @Grassroots_News
“At Grassroots Leadership, we believe no one should profit from the imprisonment of human beings. We live in the most incarcerated society in the history of the world. Every day we confront a prison industry that preys on pain because locking people up dehumanizes all of us.”
They are based in Houston, Texas.
The organization runs campaigns that address mass incarceration and deportation from many angles. The #19TooMany campaign targets Travis County, TX, which their website claims has one of the highest deportation rates in the country at 19 a week. The campaign’s website shows a group engaged in a lock-down blockade with PVC pipes connecting activists in-front of a facility door.
Other programs organize visitation for immigrants being held for long periods and coordinate community defense strategies.
The name Mijente is a phonetic version of the Spanish phrase for ‘my people’, mi gente.
The organization is commonly connect to the phrase, “Chinga La Migra”, which in this context means “Fuck Immigration Police”, or “Fuck ICE”.
They are a dual media and direct action group. They hold Press Conferences to bring attention to immigrant rights and they provide people with training and resources to engage . They received a lot of press in the last few months when an activist associated with them was held by ICE.
They have a ‘Take Action’ page on their website that encourages people to take direct action, spread their messages digitally, and to donate.
Puente Movement @PuenteAZ
This organization is based in Phoenix, AZ. They, “develop, educate, and empower migrant communities to protect and defend [their] families and [them]selves in order to enhance the quality of life of [their] community members.”
This means that they coordinate community defense strategies, educate people on their rights, campaign against dangerous public officials like Sheriff Joe Arapaio, and host a community library and garden.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras @PuebloSF
‘People Without Borders’ is just about the most badass name I think I’ve ever heard.
They’ve been around for 15 years and they say that they, “Provide humanitarian aid to migrants and refugees.” I can’t lie, their messaging turns me on a little.
Their programs are separated into Shelters, Caravans, and Actions. I’m still turned on.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services @RAICESTEXAS
According to its Twitter bio, RAICES is “the largest immigration legal services non-profit in TX, focusing on under-served immigrant children, families and refugees.”
I heard about them from Chapo Trap House’s interview with Libby Watson on Monday. By Wednesday their website was down because of a rush of traffic.
They’re currently fundraising for two projects. The LEAF Project works toward universal representation for unaccompanied minors.
They also have a, self-explanatory, Family Reunification and Bond Fund.
Al Otro Lado @AlOtroLado_Org
They provide cross-border legal services between Tijuana and Los Angeles.
They provide legal and medical services for refugees and immigrants, and they help people as they are deported. They also consult on other areas of American law, and help to reunite unaccompanied minors with their families in Mexico if that turns out to be the best course of action.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project @NWIRP
NWIRP formed in the 80’s to meet the needs of an incoming population of Central Americans escaping political repression and civil war.
Their Vision statement says that they strive for justice and equity for all persons, regardless of where they were born. They do this by providing direct legal services, by lobbying for policy to protect immigrant rights, and by educating vulnerable people in their communities.
Freedom for Immigrants @MigrantFreedom
This organization was formed by organizers from the activist and social entrepreneur hubs ASHOKA and Echoing Green. They monitor dozens of immigrant detention facilities and run a national hotline for detained immigrants.
Big picture; they work to abolish immigration detention, and end “the isolation of people currently suffering in this profit-driven system.”
Detention Watch Network @DetentionWatch
DNW works, “to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.”
It is a coalition originally founded in 1997 by Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project and Lutherans Immigration and Refugee Service. They are a membership-based organization, so they take dues.
Their programs are focused on advocacy, public education and grassroots organizing efforts.
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