A father and toddler, drowned together, laying on the riverbank at our southern border. Families and children living in squalid, over crowded conditions, without access to clean water or adequate food. Unbathed children in dirty clothes. Toddlers without clean diapers.

A humanitarian crisis at our doorstep.

It’s easy to say it’s too big of a problem or I’m too busy to make a real difference. What can I do between wrangling kids, tackling the laundry, driving the Mom taxi, and getting the paying work done?

In turns out, a lot. A heck of a lot. Without going anywhere near the border or even leaving your house. And without a lot of time or money.

Here are 3 very easy ways you can help families and children at the border.

Use your Amazon Prime Account

Hoping to use your Amazon Prime account to send diapers and formula to migrant children’s detention facilities?

Think again.

Frustratingly, you can’t. Federal law explicitly prohibits sending donations directly to migrant children’s detention facilities. 

What you can do is send donations (money and goods) to organizations that work with immigrant families and their children.

Here are a few to consider.

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center is a faith-based organization providing shelter and resources to immigrant families in the Rio Grande Valley. Help them provide much-needed clothing to migrant families by purchasing from their Amazon Wishlist.

Frontera Aid for Migrants is a Texas-based organization providing resources and support for migrant families. You can purchase supplies for migrant families on their Amazon Wishlist.

Border Servant Corps/Peace Lutheran Church is a Las Cruces-based organization working directly with immigrant families. Click here for their Amazon Wishlist.

Post bail

One sure-fire way to help parents separated from their children at the border? Post their bail.

Bonds for undocumented immigrants start at $1,500 and can be as high as $80,500, and impossible sum for someone who has just fled poverty and violence to pay. If you think that sounds high, you’re right. They are viewed as more of a “flight risk” or likely to skip their court date.

Immigrants who are unable to make bail can spend days, months, or even years in detention awaiting their court date, time spent apart from their families and children.

But why is making bail so important?

According to the Immigration Family Defense Fund, immigrants who are bonded out are 8 times more likely to win their case.  Why? Because they are free to meet freely and regularly with their attorney and to prepare the documentation needed to win their case.

How much do you need to donate to make a difference? According to the Immigration Family Defense Fund, $25 is all it takes to secure one month of freedom.

National bail funds for immigrants include Freedom for Immigrants National Bond Fund and RAICES Bond Fund.

For a complete list of national and local organizations funding bail for immigrants, click here.

Donate air miles

Lawyer Moms of America collects pledges of airline frequent flyer miles and coordinates travel for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. They also provide travel for attorneys doing volunteer immigration work. For more information on how you can donate air miles, click here.

Do you have any other quick and easy ideas for helping families and children at the border? Leave a comment or send me an email.

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Copyright © 2019 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.



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