RAICES to donate millions to pay for flights for separated families
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) on Tuesday announced that it plans to donate $3 million towards its “Flights for Families” funding commitment.
RAICES, a Texas nonprofit working to reunite immigrant families who were separated at the U.S. southern border due to the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy, said in a press release on Twitter that it will be joining two other leading immigrant groups on the new initiative, FWD.us and Families Belong Together.
In the statement, RAICES says that the joint effort will consist of a “travel help desk” to help reunified families find temporary accommodations and help pay for travel to their “post-release destinations.”
According to the statement, the help desk will provide “logistics planning, travel booking, and other assistance” to migrant families being reunited in addition to those engaged in supporting that process, including “family members, attorneys and case workers.”
“The need to reunify children as quickly as possible is urgent,” RAICES said in the 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.”
Jonathan Ryan, the executive director for RAICES, said in the statement that the effort has been made possible from donations from over “one million people across the world” in response to President Trump‘s immigration policy, which led to the separation of hundreds of migrant families.
“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,” Ryan said in the press release. “Today we pull together to reunite families and we continue to demand an end to family detention. Families belong together and free.”
The organization also provided a link to an intake form for families requiring flights home.
RAICES captured headlines last week after it turned down a $250,000 donation from Salesforce because of the company’s contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).