President Trump caved to enormous political pressure on Wednesday and signed an executive order meant to end the separation of families at the border by detaining parents and children together for an indefinite period.
The President’s order, however, does nothing to address the plight of the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents under the President’s “zero tolerance” policy.
Ventura Law is making an effort to try to help these families by volunteering legal services in attempts to reunite families.
If you’re disturbed by news of families who have been separated at the borders, here’s some information about how to help.
Which groups to support:
- The ACLU is currently litigating this policy in California.
- If you’re an immigration lawyer, the American Immigration Lawyers Association will be sending around a volunteer list for you to help represent the women and men with their asylum screening, bond hearings, ongoing asylum representation, etc. Please sign up.
- Al Otro Lado is a binational organization that works to offer legal services to deportees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, including deportee parents whose children remain in the U.S.
- CARA—a consortium of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association—provides legal services at family detention centers.
- The Florence Project is an Arizona project offering free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody.
- Human Rights First is a national organization with roots in Houston that needs help from lawyers too.
- Kids in Need of Defense works to ensure that kids do not appear in immigration court without representation and to lobby for policies that advocate for children’s legal interests. Donate here.
- The Legal Aid Justice Center is a Virginia-based center providing unaccompanied minors legal services and representation.
- Pueblo Sin Fronteras is an organization that provides humanitarian aid and shelter to migrants on their way to the U.S.
- RAICES is the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas offering free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children and families. Donate here and sign up as a volunteer here.
- The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking “volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have a paralegal or legal assistant experience.”
- Together Rising is another Virginia-based organization that’s helping provide legal assistance for 60 migrant children who were separated from their parents and are currently detained in Arizona.
- The Urban Justice Center’s Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project is working to keep families together.
- Women’s Refugee Commission advocates for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution.
- Finally, ActBlue has aggregated many of these groups under a single button.
by: Attorney Valerie B. Calistro, Esq.