WASHINGTON, DC – Thousands of immigrant children and parents separated by the Trump Administration will be reunified as three leading immigrant rights groups announced a major new multi-million dollar funding commitment to pay for “Flights for Families” torn apart by the immoral family separation policy.
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.
The funding commitment, made possible by an unprecedented outpouring of grassroots donations from concerned Americans to the groups over the last several months, includes initial support of $3 million from RAICES, the largest legal services non-profit in Texas.
The expanded “Flights for Families” effort will consist of a “travel help desk” to accommodate reunified families with temporary housing upon reunification and release and pay for travel to their post-release destinations. The help desk provides logistics planning, travel booking, and other assistance to families being reunited and those engaged in supporting that process, such as family members, attorneys and case workers. All of these services are provided free of cost. The Travel Desk provides on-site rapid response and is already operational.
Lawyers, friends, and families can obtain support by completing the travel assistance request form.
While reliable numbers have been hard to come by, as many as 3,000 children may have been separated from their parents at the border. The Trump Administration has dragged its feet on reunifications, missing court-ordered deadlines and admitting last week that they never planned to reunite migrant children with their parents, until a court struck their inhumane policy down.
The need to reunify children as quickly as possible is urgent. 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.
Below please find quotes from the three organizations:
“The Families Belong Together Coalition has been working around-the-clock to ensure that vulnerable families are safely able to travel to their next location. This effort is a labor of love powered by young organizers – including DACA recipients facing an uncertain future themselves, and the children of immigrants – helping families through the entirety of the process, and making sure that the values of the American public are shining through in this moment. This effort is just step one, and we know there is an enormous amount of work left to do: the Administration missing their deadlines is absolutely no excuse for failing to reunite kids with their parents in the midst of a manufactured crisis that they have created. We demand that every child be reunified with his or her parents – and we will not stop our efforts until all of these children are.” — Alida Garcia, Director of Coalitions and Policy at FWD.us.
“RAICES has been the beneficiary of donations from over one million people across the world. Their message is clear: there is zero tolerance for families being separated. We must continue to speak out against inhumane treatment of vulnerable asylum seekers. Today we pull together to reunite families and we continue to demand an end to family detention. Families belong together and free.” —Jonathan Ryan, Executive Director of RAICES.
“The Administration and its Republican allies in Congress have abdicated their responsibility to reunite children with their parents and are failing to fix the humanitarian crisis they created. Flights for Families represents the best of our country – Americans are coming together in love to support children and families and reject the inhuman treatment of immigrant children. We are deeply grateful to the countless Americans who have donated time and hard earned money to step up and put an end this crisis.” —Jess Morales-Rocketto, Political Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Director of the Families Belong Together Coalition.
About RAICES Texas: RAICES is the largest immigration legal services non-profit in Texas, focusing on underserved immigrant children, families and refugees. For over thirty years RAICES has reunited and stood beside families at every stage of the immigration journey; at the border, in detention, in the community and in the courtroom.
About FWD.us: FWD.us is a bipartisan organization started by key leaders in the tech and business community to promote policies to keep the United States competitive in a global economy, starting with commonsense immigration reform and criminal justice reform.
About the Families Belong Together Coalition: The Families Belong Together Coalition organized the June 30 National Day of Action that saw hundreds of thousands of people from all across the country protest family separation and other Republican immigration policies at more than 780 events in all 50 states. The Families Belong Together coalition member includes nearly 250 different groups, and is led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, MoveOn, the ACLU and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.