How to help on the ground in Texas and California

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As many of us know, the criminalization of immigration has intensified but it is not a new phenomenon. There are corporations who are benefiting from policies like Trump and Sessions recent crackdown, but there are also organizations which have been working tirelessly to help immigrants for decades. I reached out to friends in Texas and California for a list of some groups working on the ground which need our support. I am sure there are more. Send me more names. There are two ways I know of to help 1) donate and 2) if you have the relevant skills, offer your help to the groups asking for volunteers.

Here is a list of six groups that are looking for donations and qualified volunteers:

1) Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a trusted nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas. Money raised by RAICES goes to posting bond ($1,500 per family) so they can be released and stay together while they await their court date. Given the number of people who have been locked up by the current government please note that, despite the fact that they have recently raised a lot of money through a viral Facebook fundraiser, more is always needed. If you want to help stop the bail bond system, here is a great campaign. In the meantime, we are stuck with the broken bail bond system. You can contribute to the RAICES bond fund via the viral FB fundraiser here or on their website

2) Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) partners with major law firms, corporations and bar associations to represent unaccompanied children through their immigration proceedings. They have deep presence in many of these detention centers, as well as a specialized focus on kids.
They have a page up focusing on #familyseparation, including what bills they are promoting in Congress, and a donate button. The money goes to providing attorneys for children in detention to fight their deportation case and help them win asylum.
3)  Grassroots Leadership is a southwestern organization, based in Austin, that is supporting mothers separated from their children every step of the way, including paying to bond them out of detention so they can reunite with their families, facilitating calls with their children and loved ones, and fighting their criminal charges. They are also organizing many of the women who have been released but have not yet been reunited with their children as promised; these women are willing to lead the fight to win deportation cases and reunite with their children. They also work on ending for profit prisons which is at the root of this as Penney Kome details for You can donate to their Community Deportation Defense & Bond Fund here

4) Immigrant Defenders Law Center is a California based social justice law firm which delivers full-scale deportation defense to nearly 600 immigrants annually. They also provide legal education classes and screenings for approximately 1,300  unaccompanied children in detention each year.

5) Project Corazon is a coalition of various groups trying to reunite families separated by decades of cruel policies. 

6) If you have the skills listed below, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law has been granted two days to interview 1,000 children being held at Casa Padre facility in Brownsville, Texas, July 12-13. They need volunteers who are lawyers, interpreters/translators, medical and mental health professionals for this blitz. They are also leading the challenge to demand that teams be granted access to help in other facilities.  Please contact the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional law and put Peter Schey's name in your subject line. 

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