There is no such thing as other people’s children. With you — because of you — we will not rest.
Because of your radical love, to date Together Rising has deployed $3,931,367.69 for advocacy and reunification of families separated at the border.
We are writing with an update on your work, including your most recent giving for separated families – which has been focused on parents deported without their children the administration took from them.
HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW:
• More than 400 parents were deported from the US – but the Administration is still holding their children in ORR custody.
• Additional parents have been deported, and their children have been released from ORR custody to other people.
• Many parents unknowingly signed away their rights to seek asylum without understanding that they would be deported without their children.
• Many parents were told that self-deporting was the only way they would ever see their children again – only to find their children are still being held in the U.S.
HERE’S WHAT YOU ARE DOING ABOUT IT:
DOUBLING THE DEFENDER NETWORK – currently, a group of 40 organizations and law firms across Central America who:
• Travel throughout Central America to locate and make initial contact with the deported parents deemed by the administration “ineligible” for reunification with their children.
• Obtain signatures, documents, and coordinate travel and other activities to reunite them their children; and connect parents to U.S. lawyers to facilitate reunification.
BUILDING OUT THE FAMILY UNITY PROJECT WE ESTABLISHED AT IMMDEF:
• Hiring an additional Full-Time Staff Attorney for 2-years to maximize attorney time focused on detained parents who unknowingly signed away their rights to be reunified with their children.
• Hiring a full-time Program Associate to assist with Community Defense efforts. (An example of Community Defense: When the Administration threatened to deport Hermelindo without his 6-year old son (whom the administration had separated from him 2 months prior), the Family Unity Project organized more than 40 community members and media to accompany Hermelindo and his lawyer to his ICE check-in. This Community Defense effort prevented Hermelindo from being detained and permanently separated from his son. They reunited the family just days later. )
EMERGENCY SUPPORT FOR DEPORTED ASYLUM SEEKERS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER:
• A number of parents self-deported without having an opportunity to present their asylum cases — because they thought that was the only way to see their children again – and now are in immediate danger of death (and still separated from their children)
• One father, since being deported back to his home country, is being actively stalked by the people who intend to harm him. Your funds are moving him to a neighboring country for safety while attorneys work on his asylum claims
• A mother is hiding from immediate danger in El Salvador, and you are funding her travel to a safer location.
HIRING PROFESSIONALS TO SERVE SEPARATED FAMILIES, INCLUDING:
• Full time Director of Family Reunification as well as a paralegal at Al Otro Lado
• Full time attorney as well as a case management professional at KIND
• Social worker to help reunited families connect with mental health, medical, housing and other resources — as well as vital trauma recovery services
FUNDING DIRECT COSTS OF ADVOCACY:
• Travel expenses for parents who need to travel back to the US to pick up a detained child
• Mental health costs and reintegration services for reunified families
• Indigenous language interpreters (The vast majority of deported parents are in Guatemala, clients are up to 30% indigenous language speakers with no ability to communicate in Spanish or English.) These interpreters make it possible to communicate with deported parents and detained children and to speed up reunification with their children.
Love and Fury and We’re Just Getting Started,
G & Together Rising