Illustrations by Chloe Olsen
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We can all get involved and help in some way or another. From specialized services, to anyone-can-do-it services, there is something you can do. Have a look at the list below and see what stands out to you.
- Spread the word about the important work that the attorneys and volunteers at Dilley Pro Bono Project are doing. Help recruit more volunteers for the program. (Share this: https://www.immigrationjustice.us/volunteeropportunities/dilley)
- Sign up as a volunteer Court Observer for immigration cases. All you need is a government issued photo ID and the ability to observe silently and take legal notes. It is critical work, shedding light on important proceedings. Here’s how.
- Go to The Advocates For Human Rights and see what you can do to help. They hand a big hand in making out trip to Dilley a reality. They recruited, trained and coordinated all the volunteer interpreters in our volunteer group in Dilley, including a huge team of remote volunteers, provided training in advance of the trip, and acted as on-the-ground support for attorneys. They were an invaluable asset to the entire volunteer project.
- Speak another language? Volunteer as an interpreter: http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/interpreters_translators
- Volunteer as a remote interpreter by contacting the National Asylum Helpline. They offer training on answering the helpline calls, and resources for many procedural issues facing asylum seekers. They receive hundreds of calls to this line each month from individuals released from the border who are looking for connections with organizations across the U.S. They may need help with procedural issues in the area where they have moved, such as requesting to change their hearing from a border Court to the Immigration Court nearest to them. If you are interested in helping with the Asylum Helpline, please check the box indicating you are interested in doing so when you sign up as a volunteer interpreter.
- If you’d like to donate to recently released families, you can contact the Interfaith Welcome Coalition, which provides backpacks full of supplies to families arriving at the San Antonio bus station from the detention center.
- Donate here to help us staff and support the Dilley Pro Bono Project. Donations to the Dilley Project are made through the American Immigration Council and are specifically earmarked for the Dilley Project only.
- Wish you spoke another language? Donate to TRLA to fund the Dilley Language Line (remote interpretation service)
- Go to http://www.detaineeallies.org/ , based in San Diego. They have great ideas on how you can help, including writing letters to detainees.
- Share the 6 posts I’ve written about my experience in Texas to spread awareness. All of them can be found here.
- Consider becoming a sponsor for a detainee. Here is one person’s perspective: https://mashable.com/article/how-to-sponsor-an-immigrant-refugee-trump-immigration-policy/
- Act locally. Obviously, not everyone can go volunteer at a border detention facility, but they exist all over the country. Do a little research about what organizations in your area are working to help asylum-seekers, and see how you can help.
- Donate to http://www.santafedreamersproject.org/. They provide free legal services to immigrants.
- Join a Dilley Remote Support Team: firstname.lastname@example.org. They are currently recruiting for the following:
- Data entry team: This need is urgent. It is quick and easy to learn, especially now that we temporarily incorporated a couple of the usual steps into our on-the-ground scanning process.
- Remote Spanish-English Interpretation: Provide remote Spanish-English interpretation for volunteers on the ground who don’t speak Spanish!
- If you are an attorney (or if you know one), consider taking on (or encouraging them to take on) an immigration case, pro or low bono. Asylum seekers with attorneys have a much higher success rate than those who don’t (they just get deported), but the costs are prohibitive in the private sector, and the non-profit sector is inundated, as you can imagine.
- Look for more ways to get involved here: