Much of the news you’ve read in the past two weeks has probably concerned the issue of immigration. The detention of immigrant children, coupled with the upholding of the travel ban by the Supreme Court, has lead to incredibly distressing headlines. If you’re anything like the team at Avantpage, you may be wondering what you can do to support immigrants who are dealing with the consequences of these horrific actions.

 

To help you make a difference, we’ve created a list of ways you can help these people who are only trying to pursue better, safer lives than those they have in their home countries. No matter your bandwidth, you can find something on this list that you can do to support immigrants.  

 

Support Immigrants By Donating

Many immigrant-centered organizations are nonprofit and need monetary donations to continue the work they do. Here are some organizations you can donate to and support with your dollars:

  • The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a nonprofit that “promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Central and South Texas.” Currently, RAICES is fundraising to post bail for people who are being detained. You can donate to the Family Reunification Bond Fund here.
  • The Young Center is Chicago-based non-profit human rights organization that “advocates for the rights and best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children.” Donations go toward providing child advocates to immigrant children. You can donate here.
  • Border Angles is “an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to issues related to the US-Mexican border.” Donations help support operational costs, gas and vehicle costs, and other program and supplies needed to maintain the on-the-ground work of the organization. You can donate to Border Angels here.
  • The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) “works to prevent wrongful deportations by connecting refugee families to community support and emergency legal aid.” Your donation goes toward acquiring legal aid for families who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. You can donate here.

 

Support Immigrants By Volunteering

Many immigrant-focused organizations rely on volunteers to effectively support immigrant communities. These organizations typically need interpreters and legal professionals.

  • The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) “works to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants and refugees, regardless of immigration status.” They have a wide variety of ways that you can get involved with their organization, all listed here.
  • Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is “dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers…providing direct legal services to and advocates for these populations.” They have a wide variety of opportunities for volunteering, all of which you can find here.
  • If you’d like to find local organizations that support immigrants, this interactive map provides information on local organizations supporting immigrants in a handful of U.S. states.  

 

Support Immigrants By Speaking Up

On June 30, 2018, hundreds of thousands of people around the country marched to show support for immigrants and protest the separation of children from their parents.

While this particular march has happened, there are many throughout the rest of the year that allow you to show support for immigrants. You can stay up-to-date on upcoming events through this link.

 

Support Immigrants By Calling Your Representatives

Let the people who represent your area know that you will not stand for the separation of children from their families, and you will not stand for the mistreatment of immigrants as a whole.

  • You can find your representative from the House of Representatives by typing in your zip code here.
  • You can find your representative from Congress by typing in your zip code here.
    • You’ll see more success contacting local offices rather than contacting the offices in Washington, as you have more voice in your local area.
  • If you’re anxious about speaking to your representatives, here’s an easy script to follow.
    • Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and my zip code is [YOUR ZIP]. I’m asking the Representative/Member of Congress to vote down any bill that will create family jails or harm immigrants in any capacity.
      • Keep it short. Representatives and those who answer the phones take many calls throughout the day.
  • You can also contact your representative via text message using Resistbot.
    • Text RESIST to 50409 and follow the instructional prompts. Resistbot will send a fax to your representatives with the message you provide.

 

Show your support

Standing up for immigrants can be as simple as publicly showing your support. Use social media posts to show your support. Write letters to immigrants. Join local activist groups. Start the hard conversations about immigration that need to be had. If you see someone harassing an immigrant, stop them, educate them. Stand up for your fellow human beings.

 

There are many opportunities to get involved with helping immigrants in this time of dire need. Support those among us who are trying valiantly to find better lives than those they are leaving, support immigrants in any way you can. If you have alternate ideas, leave us a comment and we’ll add them to this list. Remember, we are a nation founded by immigrants. Without immigration, not a single one of us would be in the positions we are today.

 

For more on immigration, how we support immigrants, and how you can support immigrants, read some of our other blog posts:

Watch These 3 Powerful TED Talks About Immigration
Here’s One Way to Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month
Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month and Tell Your Story
Your Guide to 4 Organizations Impacting Immigration in a Big Way

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