RAICES Texas is helping migrant families reunite — and you can help them too
If you’ve been left feeling helpless and heartbroken by the daily stories of suffering children and families at the border, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there’s an organization on the ground committed to helping those struggling to claim asylum at the border and being detained and separated from their families in the process.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a non-profit agency that “promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.” They describe themselves as “an organization that combines expertise developed from the daily practice of immigration law with a deep commitment to advocacy, RAICES is unique among immigration organizations. A diverse staff of 130 attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff provide consultations, direct legal services, representation, assistance and advocacy to communities in Texas and to clients after they leave the state.”
In the last few days, RAICES has ramped up fundraising efforts in order to help reunite families separated at the southern border of the United States. They’re using donated funds to pay for bonds and get people out of detention — and back with their loved ones. So far, they’re helped reunite 58 families.
Throughout this horribly upsetting news cycle full of devastating stories about the humanitarian crisis at the border, RAICES hasn’t minced words about exactly what’s happening to individuals being housed at migrant detention centers. There’s no question at this point, after everything that’s being reported, that the Trump administration is running concentration camps at the border. Children are reportedly going without appropriate food, water, and sanitation. Young people are being forced to look after kids only slightly younger than they are, and living in conditions worse than torture facilities, according to a doctor who spent time at a detention center.
"Donald Trump is running concentration camps at the border. The question remains: what are we going to do about it?"https://t.co/adtwZ37j1J
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) June 24, 2019
That’s why RAICES is out there standing up for people seeking asylum and debunking myths about immigrants not showing up for hearings — in fact, they show up almost every time.
ICE has been trotting out the lie that immigrants don’t show up for hearing for years.
We can disclose (for the first time) that 97% of the people who we paid bonds for showed up for their hearings. We paid over 4m in bonds to get 500+ out in the last year.
Stop lying, ICE. https://t.co/1kdrpgIw5x
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) June 22, 2019
They’re encouraging Americans to “build bridges, not walls” and to sign a pledge to help reshape how our country handles immigration in the first place. “We will present new policy solutions on immigration in partnership with other human rights organizations and individuals across the country,” they promise.
The current crisis has been created by Trump's xenophobic and racist policies. He's targeted the most vulnerable people to stoke hatred for the other. You've helped him with that.
We must enshrine and protect the right to come here and thrive.
Let’s build bridges, not walls. https://t.co/mameM2OVma
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) June 24, 2019
They’re even helping people write letters to Congress to tell them to stop ICE and their mass arrests and raids in immigrant communities.
This weekend, the Trump administration caused panic and confusion among our communities. Many of you have asked how you can help push back against @ICEgov raids and the terrible conditions at #TrumpCamps. Here's what some of our coalition partners are doing:
— Families Belong Together (@fams2gether) June 24, 2019
RAICES is also bringing into stark relief the reality of the family separation crisis by sharing these heartbreaking stories — as told by the people they’re happening to.
A young Honduran boy was separated from his father at the border.
We represented him and he told us what it feels to be locked up in a cage.
This must stop.https://t.co/vF66DHS5HA
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) June 25, 2019
If you’ve been left raging and feeling like there’s “nothing” you can do to help detained migrant families and children, know that there is and donate to RAICES or become a volunteer with them so you can help reunite families that never should’ve been torn apart in the first place.