It’s one of the biggest fundraisers in Facebook history. In 11 days, more than 525,000 Americans have given over $20 million to help asylum-seekers and migrants at the border. And after President Donald Trump criticized the comedian as “whimpering,” Jimmy Fallon told his 51.2 million Twitter followers he was making a donation in the president’s name.
The donations will go to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES, an immigration legal services nonprofit helping immigrants, refugees, and children in Texas. The money, nearly triple the organization’s previous annual budget, will enable the center to hire more personnel to handle the thousands of immigrant families being separated at the border by the Trump administration. The nonprofit will also hire trainers to organize the many citizens who want to volunteer.
Still, those donations may not be enough, Money reports.
“We’re actually up against the federal government,” Jenny Hixon, RAICES’s development director told the magazine. “They obviously have well more than $20 million to both detain and prosecute these folks. We really want to make sure that we’re able to represent everybody who needs representation.”
RAICES is just one of many organizations that are working to help immigrants at the border. If you’re looking to get more involved, here are several organizations that could use your support.
From the Texas Tribune (full list here):
- Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project works to prevent the deportation of asylum-seeking families fleeing violence. The group accepts donations and asks people to sign up for volunteer opportunities here.
- Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services is the largest provider of free and low cost immigration services in West Texas and says it’s the only organization in El Paso serving unaccompanied children.
- Circle of Health International has staffed a clinic caring for refugees and asylum seekers immediately upon their their release. Their McAllen, Texas, clinic is currently seeing up to 100 patients a day.
- The El Paso-based Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center provides legal representation to immigrants who might not be able to afford it otherwise. It’s accepting volunteers and donations.
From Slate, (see full list):
- ProBAR (The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project), based in Harlingen, Texas, provides free legal services to detained asylum-seekers. It recruits, trains, and coordinates the activities of volunteer lawyers, law students, and legal assistants. (It is a joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and is supported by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.)
- The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking “volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistant experience.”
- 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.
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