We know that the headlines have moved on and that there are many current issues that require the attention of compassionate people from all walks of life. We want to be sure that we continue to lift up those people entering the United States in search of better opportunities and freedom from violence along with all the other critical issues happening now. The recent crisis at the boarder involving many unaccompanied children is an area where we would like to connect those who feel called to this particular situation to actions that are helpful in alleviating suffering. A small dedicated group at Foundry has been looking for ways to engage around the issue both locally and across the nation. Please read through the opportunities and needs below and check back as we will up-date this page as the situation continues to evolve.
"Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable"- Proverbs 31:8
Grace and Peace,
Director of Socail Justcie Ministries
How You Can Help
Volunteer support is not allowed in detention centers and shelters for the unaccompanied children, but there are ways you can help the children and/or immigrant families. We urgently need pro bono attorneys who are willing to represent non-detained children in the Houston Immigration Court. These children may have legal relief in the form of asylum, crime victim visas or special immigrant juvenile visas. The ability to speak Spanish is helpful but not required. Pro bono attorneys interested in helping with special immigrant juvenile cases need to be licensed in Texas. Attorneys should have experience in immigration law or be willing to attend trainings.
We also need non-attorney volunteers who can help with verbal and written translation and provide support work in managing the large dockets of released children who will be appearing before the Immigration Court in Houston.
If you are interested in volunteering as a pro bono attorney or non-attorney volunteer, please contact Eloy Gardea at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-874-6637. If you are interested in general assistance or donations, please visit: http://www.catholiccharities.org/uac
- The Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition has a guide available here to help lawyers understand the issue.
- The American Immigration Lawyers Association has resources available here: www.aila.org/uacresources.
- Catholic Charities: http://www.catholiccharities.org/pro-bono-opportunities
United Methodist news articles related to the crisis:
South West Texas response:
- Article on response
Further information, Laredo, Texas:
Laredo FUMC has been engaged directly, and suggests donations be made to their interfaith partner, Holding Institute. Paul Harris, Pastor, responded to us that the best help they could ask for at this time is monetary support to offset added utilities costs at their UM facility, Holding Institute Community Center. Checks may be made payable to Holding Institute and sent to FUMC Laredo, 1220 McClelland Ave., Laredo, TX 78040. Further information: Laredo Humanitarian Relief Team Facebook page.
Further understanding of the issues:
Jesuit Refugee Services video on the cause of the migrations from Central America.