How You Can Help Detained And Separated Immigrant Families In And Around Pennsylvania
1) Make your voice heard:
- Call your members of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and demand an end to family separation and detention and that we protect the rights of immigrants and asylum-seekers. Urge them to support the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act 2018; the Help Separated Children Act; and the Keep Families Together Act.
- Join the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition’s ongoing advocacy and civic engagement efforts, or attend one of their trainings on how to resist deportations locally.
2) Support organizations doing great work:
There are many organizations providing free legal defense and other services for immigrants in Pennsylvania impacted by detention. Make a donation, and spread the word through social media to amplify your support. Facebook fundraisers are a great way to amplify your support.
HIAS Pennsylvania provides legal representation for detained children in Pennsylvania and others impacted by detention and fighting deportation. To make a donation, click here.
Here are some of our other partners who are doing great work:
- ALDEA – The People’s Justice Center (legal representation for immigrant and asylum-seeking families detained at the Berks Family Detention Center)
- Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center and Nationalities Service Center (legal representation for detained adults in Pennsylvania and others impacted by detention and fighting deportation)
- La Puerta Abierta/The Open Door (mental health services for immigrant families impacted by detention, family separation and trauma)
3) Become a foster parent:
Children forcibly separated from their parents should be reunited ASAP—not put into foster care. However, some unaccompanied children who lack relatives in the United States to reunify with choose to go into federal foster care while they fight for asylum or other protection. There are two such programs in Pennsylvania, and both are in need of foster families:
KidsPeace: (610) 799-7741
Bethany Christian Services: (215) 376-6200
4) Mental health professionals—volunteer your time and skills:
HIAS Pennsylvania relies on licensed psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers to conduct evaluations in support of our clients’ applications for asylum and other legal relief.
5) Lawyers—willing to travel, or assist remotely? Volunteer to help detained parents:
Many parents who were separated from their children—and parents being held with their children in family detention—are being held in facilities in Texas and across the country. Organizations assisting these parents may have a need for volunteer attorneys willing to travel or work remotely:
At this time, HIAS Pennsylvania cannot provide opportunities to represent separated families in Pennsylvania, but there is a great need for representation of asylum-seekers living in our area. HIAS PA will conduct our annual comprehensive, full-day asylum training on November 16, 2018. Attorneys eager to join the fight should keep up their enthusiasm, join us in November, and become equipped to assist the many families and individuals who we know will continue to need our help.
6) Support detainees:
In New Jersey, connect with First Friends to visit or write to immigrants in detention or to support them after their release.