These past few weeks have been heart-wrenching as we’ve seen the number of children separated from their families grow. Just last week we learned that nearly 2,000 children have been separated and are being housed by the government in an emptied out Walmart, foster homes, and a tent city in the Texas desert. We are not only angered but saddened by the inhumane actions of our president and his administration who have made xenophobia a cornerstone of their policies. Listening to these children cry in despair for their parents will break anyone’s heart.
About an hour away from Albuquerque, in Grants, NM, fathers sit in holding cells at the Cibola County Correctional Center, an immigrant prison, wondering where their children are and how to speak to them. Members of our staff visit detainees there twice a week to give legal information, discuss the viability of their asylum claims, and prepare them for interviews and hearings.
Now, we are facing a new challenge- how to reconnect these father's with their children. The government has created a phone number so that parents can try to locate their children—but this system is filled with problems and there still isn’t an established system to connect parents to their children upon their removal. Parents have been deported without their children while children have been deported without their parents. At NMILC, we are partnering with groups across the country to locate their children and identify, tract, and relocate their children.
“While previously most wondered about their chances to stay in the United States and seek protection, now the most urgent and frequent questions are: ‘Where are my children?’ and ‘Can you please help me find my children?’ Fathers are literally requesting their deportations hoping that it will allow them to reunite with their children faster. It is heartbreaking.”
-Martha Laura Garcia, NMILC Equal Justice Works Attorney
Now more than ever, we need your help to combat these injustices and help the fathers in Cibola reconnect with their children. Here's what your donations can do:
$25 provides one detained asylum seeker with a full screening by an immigration attorney.
$50 funds transportation to Cibola Detention Facility for our team of attorneys, legal assistants, and volunteers.
$100 covers printing and preparation costs for a day of presentations and legal workshops at Cibola.
$250 pays for a work permit and protection from deportation for an immigrant child who has been abandoned, abused, or neglected by one or both of their parents.
$500 funds a full day of legal presentations, consults, and interview preparation with detained asylum seekers in Cibola.
Join us today to help us protect and reunite these families- any amount helps. Please share this fundraiser with your family, friends, and colleagues and ask them to sign up to our email list here. Make sure that this doesn’t become the new normal.