FAQS for the
RAICES Facebook Fundraiser
Last updated June 22, 2018 11:38 AM PDT
DISCLAIMER: News may change rapidly today. The administration is still putting out conflicting information. We are gathering as much information as we can about what is happening with policy enforcement and the situation on the ground. We will try to keep this document updated as the situation changes.
President Trump recently announced he will end his family separation policy, but as of Thursday morning, his administration apparently has no plan to reunite the more than 2300 families already separated. His new policy is short on details and continues to promote the incarceration of children. This is unacceptable.
In a policy environment like this, RAICES' work becomes more important than ever, and they are ready to move fast. These families need legal representation, counseling and other crucial services that RAICES will be able to provide to more people at a greater and faster scale than ever before because of these funds.
Make no mistake that the administration is changing course because people spoke out. You spoke out. You showed that you're not okay with this, that none of this okay, and that you won't stand for it. This fundraiser started with the hope of reuniting maybe one family, but it grew. It grew so big that it couldn't be ignored. It grew to a community, to a place that will help all families separated. And it's groups like this and people like you that are responsible for progress in a matter of days, so that mothers and fathers can hug their children again.
Your voice and actions matter. Keep them going strong.
RAICES is inexpressibly grateful for the support these families have received from you in the last few days. This fundraiser will save lives - and you made that possible.
Common FAQs we’ve seen from the fundraising page are listed and linked below.
This fundraiser is for The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). RAICES is the largest immigration legal services non-profit in TX, focusing on under-served immigrant children, families and refugees. From their Facebook page: “RAICES is an organization that serves immigrants and refugees in our community by providing immigration-related legal services, advocacy and opportunities for educational and social support. We believe that by actively promoting the well-being and informed participation of immigrants and refugees in the community, everyone benefits.” Their Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas/ and their website is https://www.raicestexas.org/
Charlotte and Dave created this fundraiser (backstory here) through the Facebook Fundraiser feature. Donations made through this Facebook feature go directly to the organization. Charlotte and Dave aren’t affiliated with RAICES and won’t see a penny of it and neither will Facebook! Facebook collects no fees on donations that are processed through the site using the Fundraiser feature. You can learn more about it through their Help links on the side of the fundraiser page or in the Help Center: https://www.facebook.com/help/356680401435429/?helpref=hc_fnav
“The funds will go toward legal representation for immigrant children and parents in Texas, as well as toward paying parents’ bond so they can be released from detention centers and reunited with their children. The organization — which currently has about 50 lawyers on staff — plans to go on a hiring spree and fund training for volunteer lawyers willing to travel to Texas to assist, Mr. Ryan said.” - https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/us/raices-charity-border-immigrants.html
RAICES has two big projects they are fundraising for right now (from their website):
Here’s another helpful link with more information about how RAICES can be effective with your generosity: https://slate.com/business/2018/06/raices-can-be-effective-with-all-that-money-its-raising-on-facebook.html
The short answer is: yes.
In the most generous interpretation of the stories coming to light, U.S. Border Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services are *abjectly terrible* at their jobs. In the more likely interpretation: they don't particularly care about reuniting these families. Regardless of motivation, the result is the same: the government of the United States is actively preventing these families from being made whole.
RAICES and the organizations they are partnering with are going to need a lot more than a bond fund. They're going to need a lot more than a few pro bono attorneys. They need a legion of lawyers, psychologists, child advocates, investigators. They need you calling your elected officials EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. about this. They need you talking to everyone you know about this. And they will need it for a very long haul.
After you're done reading this story -- please commit to this cause. Share it with your Facebook friends. Talk about it at the dentist and in the grocery checkout line. Bring it to church and synagogue and mosque and any other temple of values and morals in your life. Google incessantly for your local charities that work with the Office of Refugee Resettlement and sign up to help tomorrow. Let every day of your life be a day where you have remembered these families and done something about it.
These kids have to be more than a moment for us -- they have to be a movement. The only people who can fix this are the people of the United States of America.
On Wednesday, June 22nd, RAICES hosted a Facebook Live to discuss their work, the current state of affairs, and how they will use this fundraiser to support their work in reuniting and representing families. You can watch it on your own time on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas/videos/10156008679169678/
You can also read a summarized transcript and view action items that came out of the event here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RrKnkO_K3L-alxfgGG0DyYSPe4I9lbLKY9OBBOUl2J0/
On Thursday, June 21st, RAICES hosted another Facebook Live video about volunteer opportunities. Check it out on their page here: https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas/videos/10156011289274678/
“‘We’ve had moments of ecstasy and there have been a lot of tears in response to this outpouring of support,” Jonathan Ryan, executive director of Raices, said in a phone interview. “But those moments of joy are curtailed by a realization of great responsibility.’”
Does anything load when you visit https://www.raicestexas.org/? No? Then in that case it’s still down. Y’all are clearly very interested in learning more about them. They’re working on increasing their server capacity and will hopefully be back soon. Until then you can check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas/
Here are just a few ways you can help in other ways right now.
Some of the information below was compiled by the Immigration Hub in collaboration/partnership with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, We Belong Together, the ACLU, America's Voice, MomsRising, MoveOn, and United We Dream. (We’ve edited it for some brevity and events that have not passed already.)
What we’re learning from organizers, organizations, and supporters like you is that the next important thing you can do is find and contact your political representatives.
Things you should ask of your representatives:
1. Where do you stand on this issue?
2. What are you doing right now to reverse this policy?
3. Urge them to vote against legislation that does more harm than good.
4. When is the town hall on this issue? (Not if, but WHEN)
There are a few ways you can do this!
Step 1: Figure who represents you at a state and federal level since these levels deal with immigration laws and policies. You can look all of this up on lots of different websites. Here’s just one example: https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
Step 2: Are you on social media? We’re guessing so since you donated to a fundraiser on Facebook. Many of your representatives also have a social media presence. Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter (maybe even Snapchat?), sign up to follow your representatives. This is the easiest way to connect with your representative, keep on eye on what he or she is up to about this issue, and politely inform them that this is an issue you want action on (the frequency of your reminders is your choice).
(Pro tip: If you don’t want to be seen as “liking” a particular representative on Facebook, you can also just click “Follow” on the page to receive their updates.)
Step 3: Social media not breaking through? That’s what the phone is for! This is the most effective way of registering your desire for action on an issue with your representative. Yes, call tallies really do matter. USA.gov has a helpful website that explains how to get in touch with your representatives at a federal and state level: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials. Want to learn more about why phone calls matter? Check out https://5calls.org/faq.
(Phone shy or not sure what to say? Oh there are great scripts out there too! Here’s a great example from the Friends Committee on National Legislation: https://www.fcnl.org/updates/three-ways-congress-can-protect-immigrant-families-1482)
Step 4: Repeat!
Oh and if they already agree with you and are working hard to reunite families, don’t forget to say THANK YOU! Even if you count yourself among the people who agree with their representatives, you should still call! Your voice matters in this. Plus, we bet your representative and their staff will appreciate the kind words.
When Congress decides to take up bills for debate it is imperative to make your voice heard as often and as soon as possible. Many organizations have tools to email, tweet, mail, and hand deliver letters on your behalf to your representatives. For some of the current bills in the news this week, the ACLU has a call tool specifically for Senators; the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has a call tool that directs calls, tweets, facebook posts, and emails to all Members of Congress. Herd on the Hill offers a service that you can write letters that will be cloud-printed in DC and walked over to the House and Senate.
Yes, absolutely! Go to https://www.raicestexas.org/volunteer/ to check out the opportunities - these include volunteering, internships, accompaniment, becoming a sanctuary organization, and providing pro-bono legal help. There are immediate needs in these areas:
Yes! A lot of people here have been posting helpful articles that list other good and important organizations should you wish to donate to more organizations or find a way to get involved closer to your home.
Name of Charity
Link to volunteer
DC, GA, MD, MA, TX, CA, NJ, NY, WA
Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New York, San Francisco, Fresno, Seattle, Washington
IL, IN, DC
Chicago, Goshen, Washington
Austin, Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso, Alpine, McAllen
Florence, Phoenix, Tucson
IL, TX, AZ, CA, NY, DC
Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, Harlingen, Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York, Washington
There are MANY, MANY more than we can include here. For organizations in your community, check out websites such as https://www.volunteermatch.org/ or do a quick internet search.
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (http://refugees.org/get-involved/volunteer/) also needs volunteers around the country. Our Helpful Links section contains more links to articles with even more organizations who need our support.
Join a march and Families Belong Together rally led by MoveOn and others.
Visit this website - https://www.familiesbelongtogether.org/. There’s a map with locations for planned marches all around the country. You can click “Find Events Near You” to search by your zip code for the one nearest to you. There are also links to join the march in DC or sign their petition!
Raising and building awareness is important. Putting that awareness into action is critical. To make ever lasting change we need to use this awareness to vote. And to vote in an informed manner. Research your candidates. There are responsible non-partisan organizations that create summaries of candidates and where they stand on these issues. A great example of this is the League of Women Voters. Then go vote! Vote in every possible election. This is such a crucial power that we have and we don’t use it enough.
You can check on your voter registration status at https://www.vote.org/
That is very kind of you and your family! However, we think that this is not likely based on the details of the situation. Unaccompanied minors – those who arrive at the border without family – are eligible for placement with foster parents who are fully licensed by their state.
If you are not already licensed, you could begin by contacting one of the foster care providers who care for unaccompanied alien children, such as United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services who have provided foster care to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children for many years.
You can find more information on the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) program and the great organizations that facilitate it here: http://www.usccb.org/about/children-and-migration/upload/urm-one-pager-lirs-usccb.pdf.
If you’re interested in what you can do locally, there is a webinar on Thursday on how to get involved in the national network: https://www.facebook.com/donate/490507544717085/494235624344277/
It appears to be a mess. Which is a gross understatement. Natalia Cornelio, with the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Washington Post, “Either the government wasn’t thinking at all about how they were going to put these families back together, or they decided they just didn’t care.” According to the article, the government “spent months developing the family-separation system, but authorities were struggling on Thursday to figure out how to reunite detained parents with children. There was no system for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which handled the parents’ cases, to work on the issue with the refugee resettlement office, which is responsible for the children.” You can read more about this unbelievable injustice here.
The Texas Civil Rights Project, RAICES, and other organizations are banding together to fill the void the government has left behind in reuniting parents and children. It’s a massive undertaking that your donation and action makes possible.
This is a reminder of the power we have when we all stand together against injustice and now RAICES' work becomes more important than ever. However, a change in policy doesn't automatically reunite these innocent children with their families or erase the trauma our government inflicted. These families will need legal representation, counseling and other crucial services that RAICES will be able to provide to more people and at a greater and faster scale than ever before because of these funds.
For more information about the executive order from RAICES, please view their Facebook Live video here: https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas/videos/10156009390694678/
Federal officials said Tuesday that since May, they have separated 2,342 children from their families, rendering them unaccompanied minors in the government’s care. (AP)
According to Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) “there are separate facilities for younger children; there are separate facilities for girls.” Because Brownsville and McAllen have been the focus of attention, only boys have been depicted. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, HHS officials pledged to release photos of detained girls and toddlers “within the next two days.” In some cases, the same facility holds both boys and girls, though in separate areas. Reportedly “detainees had been sorted into groups — unaccompanied boys 17 and under; unaccompanied girls 17 and under; male heads of household with their families; and female heads of household with their families.” (Washington Post)
In addition, at least three “tender age” shelters exist to detain babies and other young children who have been forcibly separated from their parent. Doctors and lawyers who have visited the shelters in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley said the facilities were fine, clean and safe, but the children — who have no idea where their parents are — were hysterical, crying and acting out . Many of them are under age 5, and some are so young they have not yet learned to talk. (AP)
The shelters are run by private organizations that contract with the federal government to provide education and health care.
“The mother and daughter were not separated,” a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told The Daily Beast. The spokesman further reported that the child was expected to remain with the mother at a detention center and on through a final disposition in federal court. The spokesman added that same could generally be said of all youngsters “of a tender age,” meaning those “4 years and below.” (Daily Beast).
While this child was not separated from her mother, many just like her were and remain separated from their families. Since May 5th, at least 2,500 migrant children have been separated from their parents at the border due to this policy.
In an interview with the Washington Post, the girl’s father “said he felt ‘proud’ that his daughter has ‘represented the subject of immigration’ and helped propel changes in policy. But he asked that Trump’“put his hand on his heart.’”
If you’d like to learn more about the story behind this photo, please visit: https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2018/06/17/620775153/a-photojournalist-at-the-border
And a note from the fundraiser organizers - “I used this picture because it was the one to inspire me to pay a lot more attention to the crisis at the border. She will carry the trauma of this moment for the rest of her life, regardless of what happened later -- and the trauma that the kids who ARE separated from their parents right now is even more compounded. We plan to keep it as our photo.”
Kenneth Wolfe, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman, told the Los Angeles Times that the government contracts with 100 shelters that are located in 17 states. Some of biggest centers are in McAllen and Brownsville, both in Texas, and Estrella del Norte in Tucson. The ICE detention centers are listed publicly on their website: https://www.ice.gov/detention-facilities. Not all of them necessarily hold children.
Turns out that’s not an available function like you’ve seen on Pages and Groups. We’ve included a link to these in the fundraiser description as a work around. Trust us, we’ve given this as feedback to Facebook!
Maybe! It’s hard to find posts on such an active fundraiser. For the latest updates on what’s going on with the fundraiser check out Dave’s math time posts. (We’ll try to keep up here too with the latest links!): https://www.facebook.com/donate/490507544717085/496167720817734/
Whatever you can give. At the last tally average donations came out to about $40 per person, but that’s because so many people are donating what they can! Together we’re making a difference.
Facebook collects no fees on donations that are processed through the site using the Fundraiser feature. You can learn more about it through their Help links on the side of the fundraiser page or in the Help Center: https://www.facebook.com/help/356680401435429/?helpref=hc_fnav
RAICES will receive the donations in 14 days or less after the day they’re given, regardless of when the fundraiser officially ends! RAICES is verified within Facebook’s fundraiser program, so they get automatic payments every two weeks.
Go to RAICES’ website directly! https://www.raicestexas.org/#donate
Don’t worry, you can reverse that donation! Go to https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/1998316600435522 and select “charity donations”
Many companies have programs to match employee donations. If you’re not sure what this looks like at your company, start by emailing your People Operations or Human Resources colleagues. There may be a form for you to fill out and you may need to provide your receipt for your donation.
If you’re interested in learning more about the types of employer matching programs out there, this Grantspace article is helpful: https://grantspace.org/resources/knowledge-base/workplace-giving/
To learn more about the receipt you’ve received through the Facebook Fundraiser, check out this FB Help Center link: https://www.facebook.com/help/1439525279599897?helpref=uf_permalink