At Repair the World, we are deeply concerned about asylum seeking families being detained and separated at the border. The Torah speaks clearly and multiple times: “You should love the stranger because you were once strangers.” The Torah shares this message 36 times; some interpret this repetition as double chai or two lives. This biblical directive to “love the stranger” is not only about about loving and welcoming in the stranger; it is intertwined with saving the heart and soul of our own community.
We encourage you to Act Now with one of these opportunities to serve. Here are national and local opportunities to take action through service.
- Find a local service organization with Informed Immigrant’s database and volunteer with one of the 1,200 organizations that work towards justice for migrants in the US.
- Volunteer to serve as a Child Advocate with Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
- Volunteer with local organizational members of the Sanctuary Movement, a coalition of hundreds of congregations that are standing in solidarity with immigrants and providing spaces of sanctuary for individuals facing deportation or targeted by hate.
- Join Mikdash: Jewish Sanctuary Network and make your synagogue a sanctuary space with T’ruah.
- Attorneys, law students, interpreters, sign up for future opportunities with the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project and to be added to their volunteer listerv.
- Volunteer with the National Immigrant Justice Center; in particular, they are looking for volunteer attorneys and interpreters.
- Volunteer with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, a coalition that operates an on-the-ground team that advocates for the children and women.
- Check out many different volunteering opportunities based on expertise at #standwithimmigrants.
The Texas Tribune has a great list of organizations mobilizing to help undocumented families who were separated and/or detained at the border.
- At the JCC Harlem and in partnership with the office of NYC Council Member Mark Levine, donate critical supplies to 239 children in New York who were separated from their families at the border. Be notified about further volunteering opportunities with the JCC Harlem.
- Sign up for accompaniment training with New Sanctuary Coalition
- Support refugee children in NYC by volunteering through the office of NYC Council Member Mark Levine.
For updated opportunities to take action in New York, take a look at the New York Immigration Coalition resource, “Family Separation at the US Border – What You Can Do.”
- Volunteer with RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services); provide pro bono support to separated parents and sign up for the Post-Release Volunteer Program.
- Volunteer at the Casa Marianella Adult House and at Posada Esperanza (Women’s House). Casa Marianella is a volunteer-driven emergency homeless shelter in east Austin, serving recently-arrived immigrants and asylum seekers from around the world.
We will continue to update this list as we learn of additional opportunities locally and nationally. To connect with your local Repair the World site, click here.
There are many incredible national organizations working on justice for immigrants and asylum seekers in a variety of ways. Connect with and follow these organizations for more information: Bend the Arc, HIAS, Mijente, Movimiento Cosecha, Religious Action Center, T’ruah, and United We Dream.
***Tzedakah Alert: Donating to Bail Funds***
A powerful way to use your financial resources to support undocumented families separated at the border is by donating to bail funds. Bail for undocumented people detained by ICE or U.S. Customs and Border Protection must be set at a minimum of $1,500; on average, it is closer to $10,000 per person. Donations help families reunite.
National organizations funding bail and legal services:
- National Bail Out
- The American Bar Association
- Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
- Immigration Justice Campaign
Local organizations’ bail funds and legal services:
- Al Otro Lado
- Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
- Grassroots Leadership’s Hutto Community Deportation Defense & Bond Fund
- National Immigrant Justice Center
- RAICES Family Reunification and Bond Fund
- Texas Civil Rights Project
If you’d like to share feedback on these connections to volunteer opportunities to support separated families and the organizations listed above, please email [email protected].