Many people are wondering how to help migrant families that have been detained here in McAllen, Texas and other areas of the Rio Grande Valley. Here are a few ways that members of the public can help.
Donating physical items to the detention centers is difficult, because members of the public are not allowed to enter. The best option is to make monetary donations to various organizations that are directly helping. Here are a few:
ProBAR provides pro bono legal services to children and adults, including asylum seekers and other vulnerable individuals, who are held in immigration detention in South Texas.
Read the organization's press release here about how they are helping.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) serves immigrants and refugees in our community by providing immigration-related legal services, advocacy and opportunities for educational and social support.
From the "Fund Name" menu, choose "Individual Rights", which includes TRLA's immigration law department. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income residents in sixty-eight counties of Southwest Texas, and represents migrant and seasonal farm workers throughout the state of Texas and six southern states.
Read about the ACLU's mission to defend immigrants' rights here.
You can contact your government representatives by e-mail, phone, Twitter, Facebook, snail mail, etc. If you are not sure which Representative or Senator represents you, you can find out here. Every representative has a website with an e-mail form and other ways of contacting them. Just a quick Google search for their name will find it.
An even easier way to contact your representatives about any issue is with the Resistbot service. All you need to do is text the Resistbot service, and they will look up your representatives, send the representatives a letter that you send to them through text, and then they can also (optionally) post your letter on Twitter with your representatives tagged. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes and is very easy.
Voting is the most important way to have a voice in anything that is happening.
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If you are a lawyer or legal assistant, and particularly if you speak Spanish or any of the indigenous Central American languages, the legal aid organizations on the "Donate" tab might be able to use your assistance. Check their websites for more information.
If you are not a lawyer, there are also other ways you can volunteer locally.