ICYMI: FWD.us Joins RAICES, United Airlines, and Families Belong Together to Support “Flights for Families” with Multi-Million Dollar Commitment

FWD.usRAICES, and the Families Belong Together Coalition yesterday announced a new multi-million dollar funding commitment to pay for “Flights for Families” torn apart by the Trump Administration’s family separation policy. We are working around the clock to support separated families as their asylum cases are processed.

Together, these organizations have been providing on-the-ground logistical support to hundreds of families over the past week, enabling the ability to bring considerable resources to bear on efforts to reunite families and provide them with safe and comfortable travel accommodations while they await the processing of their asylum cases. Coverage of this partnership has been widely featured in news outlets like The Washington PostArizona RepublicLos Angeles Daily NewsLa Opinión, and Newsweek.

United Airlines announced additional support today and is part of a growing community coming together to reunite families who were separated at the border. United will be providing travel to the recently reunited immigrant families to get to their next destination with dignity. We are so thankful to United for their generosity in the face of this crisis and for being an amazing partner in the #FlightsforFamilies effort. This is so needed, timely, and critical.

These efforts come as the Trump Administration is set to miss yet another court-ordered deadline — tomorrow, July 26 — to reunite young children with their parents after they were separated under the Trump Administration’s cruel “zero tolerance” policy. The Administration said in a court filing on Monday that at least 463 parents may have been deported without their children — and currently the Administration has failed to make clear any plans to reunite these families they separated.

By Chantal da Silva for Newsweek | July 25, 201

The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) has announced it will dedicate at least $3 million toward flights to reunite families separated under the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration practice.

RAICES has received a donation windfall of more than $20 million after independent fundraisers launched a Facebook appeal, which went viral.

In a joint initiative with rights groups FWD.us and Families Belong Together, RAICES said in a statement sent to Newsweek that its “Flights for Families” effort will provide a “travel help desk” to families affected by the “zero tolerance” practice that will help cover their travel fees for reunification, as well as their temporary housing costs.

Pro bono attorneys working with clients are also being offered travel assistance and can fill out intake forms online.

RAICES said it felt the need to step in and provide families with assistance as the Trump administration struggles to reach its looming court-ordered deadline on Thursday to reunite the thousands of families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

After widespread condemnation of the separation practice, Trump signed an executive order overturning it in June.

“While the Administration and Congress have failed to reunify all the families separated at the border, RAICES, FWD.us and the Families Belong Together coalition have stepped into the breach, announcing today that they are supercharging their combined efforts to date to speed family reunifications by paying for flights and assisting with travel logistics,” RAICES said in a statement.

It said it would be providing all of its services “free of cost,” adding that its “travel help desk” is “already operational.”

Executive Director of RAICES, Jonathan Ryan, said in a statement to Newsweek that the outpouring of support the organization has received is a “direct response to the Trump administration’s brutal policy to separate and detain families for indefinite periods.”

“We are proud to stand together with our communities who represent vulnerable people to reunite every family,” Ryan said, adding: “In the face of gross negligence from the administration and a dereliction of their duties, we are determined to do this as quickly as possible.”

RAICES stressed the need for the Trump administration to bring together families as quickly as possible.

“The need to reunify children as quickly as possible is urgent,” RAICES said in a statement. “Doctors and experts warn that separating children from their parents causes long-term mental and emotional trauma and babies the Administration took away months ago are now toddlers who no longer recognize their parents,” the organization said.

Director of the Families Belong Together Coalition, Jess Morales-Rocketto, who is also the political director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, said the Trump administration is “failing to fix the humanitarian crisis they created.”

“Flights for Families represents the best of our country,” Morales-Rocketto said in a statement sent to Newsweek. “Americans are coming together in love to support children and families and reject the inhuman treatment of immigrant children.”

RAICES recently made headlines after rejecting a $250,000 donation from cloud computing company Salesforce after the firm refused to cancel a contract with Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The immigrant rights group said that after “careful consideration,” it could not accept the contribution after Salesforce rejected employees’ calls for it to end the contract with CBP over its role in enforcing the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policies.

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