5 Ways to Help Separated Families at the Border, Today.
In the wake of the “Zero Tolerance” policy, we’ve heard thousands of lawyers and concerned citizens asking how to help the approximately 2,000 separated children and their families at the border. Here are 5 ways you can help today.
1. Become a Pro Bono Champion.
These incredible organizations are partnering with pro bono attorneys to provide free legal services to families in need:
- South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) is providing free legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas. Contact here.
- Immigrant Justice Project of San Diego (IJP) provides pro bono legal services for immigrants and asylum-seekers appearing before the San Diego immigration court. Contact here.
- RAICES is a nonprofit that provides free and legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas. Sign up to volunteer here.
- The CARA Project is currently recruiting attorneys, law students and paralegals to represent families detained in the South Texas Family Residential Center. Volunteers can sign up here.
- Kids In Need of Defense partners with law firms, corporations and bar associations to represent children in immigration proceedings. Volunteers don’t need to have immigration experience and you can donate here.
- El Paso-based Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center provides legal representation to immigrants who might not be able to afford it otherwise. It’s accepting volunteers and donations.
- In New York, the Safe Passage Project provides free lawyers to refugee children in New York City and Long Island, including those being separated from their families. Volunteer here and donate here.
- The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project works to prevent the deportation of asylum-seeking families fleeing violence. The group accepts donations and asks people to sign up for future volunteer opportunities here.
2. Donate to Support On-the-Ground Advocacy.
- The RAICES Family Reunification and Bond Fund help parents separated from their children at the border, who can’t be released and reunited with their families until they pay a full immigration bond. Donate here.
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advocates to defend immigrants’ rights. They are combatting ICE and border patrol abuse, immigration policies, and filed a class action to challenge the constitutionality of separating families. You can donate to the ACLU here.
- The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights advocates for the safety and wellbeing of unaccompanied minors. They recently announced a project specifically dedicated to helping children separated from their parents at the border. You can donate here.
3. Ofrece Servicios de Traducción.
Organizations helping detained immigrants are often in need of Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ translators, which is a great way for legal professionals and non-lawyers to get involved. Check out the below organizations to donate your language skills:
- American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Human Rights First
- The Legal Aid Justice Center
- Together Rising
- Texas Civil Rights Project
- Al Otro Lado
- The Florence Project
- International Refugee Assistance Project
(List source: Mashable)
4. Call Congress Today.
Call your representative and voice your stance on family separation at the border. Ask them to support bills like the Senate’s HELP Separated Children Act and Keep Families Together Act that help reunite children and prevent the separation of families in the future. If you’re not sure what to say, the American Civil Liberties Union offers a helpful script for calling the Senate.
5. Get Others Involved.
Forward this to folks you know who can help — attorneys, foreign-language speakers, potential donors, or people willing to call their representatives. Let’s connect those in need with those who can help.
At Paladin we strongly believe in the power of pro bono; the inspiration for Paladin was my pro bono experience winning asylum for an immigrant and his family. Pro bono attorneys can have a tremendous impact on immigrant’s lives — keeping families together, reuniting separated families, representing immigrants in criminal proceedings, and ensuring that immigrants fleeing danger stay safe.
The crisis isn’t something any one of us can fix. But as a pro bono attorney you have the unique ability to quite literally change the course of someone’s life.
We hope you consider becoming a champion for justice for someone in need today.
P.S. Do you know additional organizations we should highlight? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.