Friday, July 13, 2018

Feel Good Friday - RAICES

Over the past few weeks, many of you may have seen or contributed to the social media fundraising campaign by the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, also known as RAICES. Having learned about them during this recent fundraiser I'm making them our Feel Good Friday origination for today.

Founded in 1986, "RAICES is the largest immigration legal services non-profit in Texas, focusing on underserved immigrant children, families and refugees." In response to the current situation of immigrant families being separated at the border, RAICES crowdfunded $20 million which they brought to Washington DC earlier this week to cover bail bonds of migrant mothers who have been detained. You can read more about their efforts to #ReuniteEveryChild in this article from The Hill.

On a daily basis, "a diverse staff of 130 attorneys, legal assistants and support staff provide consultations, direct legal services, representation, assistance and advocacy to communities in Texas and to clients after they leave the state." These services include assistance with residency, citizenship, asylum, DACA and family reunification. Education and outreach programs focus on immigrant accompaniment and refugee resettlement.

The list of accomplishments from 2017 is impressive:
  • closing 51,000 cases free of charge
  • serving
    • 7,000 mothers and children in family detention
    • 680 DACA applicants
    • 6,000 unaccompanied children
  • resettling over 300 refugees
  • training 642 volunteers
RAICES has offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. There is a selection of know-your-rights workshops that you can request for your organization as well as several educational videos on the website.

If you'd like to support the work of RAICES, the easiest way for most of us to get involved is to make a donation. For any readers living in Texas, you can join the Accompaniment Network or sign up to become a volunteer.

Everyone can stay current on the work of RAICES and the status of their bail bond offer by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @RAICESTEXAS.

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