What We Do
The short answer: We help detained immigrants.
Family separation at the border led to thousands of children being held in cages, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. ALL immigration detention separates families. The US has the largest Immigration Detention System in the world, detaining over 400,000 people annually. People jailed while awaiting civil immigration hearings have limited access to resources, connections, community, and support navigating their situation. People without immigration status are being held in detention for civil issues without the protections afforded by the criminal system. People in detention don’t have a right to a lawyer if they can’t afford one. They don’t have a right to a phone call. Contacting family and friends is difficult and their living conditions can be inhumane. If they are released, it’s often with nothing but the clothes on their back.
We fill the gaps in current support systems, providing emotional and logistical support to detained immigrants and their loved ones as they navigate the challenges of detention.
How It Works
Front Line Support
When immigrants first enter detention, it is often with little knowledge of what their future will hold. Calling our phone number provides emotional and logistical support to immigrants just beginning to understand their situation. We provide logistical next steps, emotional support, and hope.
Detained immigrants are often unable to contact their family and/or loved ones while in jail. If immigrants have been unable to reach family and friends, we help them reestablish contact with their community. We work on both sides of this channel helping detained immigrants and their family and friends navigate the complex prison communications systems. We’ll also support detained immigrants in communicating with their families outside the country. Connection and support are foundational needs for the incarcerated.
Support in Jail
Jail is a hard place to live. We provide commissary and book donations to make it a slightly less harsh place to be. We also work with networks of likeminded activists, donors, and volunteers to match detained immigrants to pen pals and montly commissary donations.
We support detained immigrants to get access to legal aid. We network with pro-bono non-profits offering legal support, and when they can afford it help immigrants find a lawyer. Where necessary we facilitate translation, document services, and pro se (self-representation) materials.
We connect detained immigrants to Freedom For Immigrants, who then connects them to a network of volunteer sponsors. We help sponsors communicate with them and their families. We support immigrants once they are released on connecting with their sponsor.
We connect detained immigrants to sources of bond funds like the Bay Area Bond Fund and RAISES. We help them get support letters from relatives; we write support letters ourselves; we also help fundraising for bond, help posting bond, and help facilitating their transition out of jail.
For immigrants who manage to leave jail, re-entry to society is not easy. We support connecting immigrants with accompaniment programs that can connect them to the resources they need to thrive. This means helping them access social services and rehab facilities where necessary. We maintain ongoing relationships and help with transportation to appointments, and continued help with questions as they navigate starting their new life.
If our clients are deported, we support them with notifying their family and friends, connecting to resources that can help with travel money and supplies, and stay connected post-deportation.
For questions about our organization please use this contact form.
Si necesitas ayuda puedes contactarnos con este formulario.