Facebook Raises Millions to Reunite Illegal Immigrants with Children

Marco Green
June 20, 2018

The campaign page said all money raised was going to "directly fund the bond to get parents out of detention and reunited with their children while they await court proceedings" and to "ensure legal representation for every child in Texas' immigration courts", citing the high rate of children who faced the court system unrepresented previous year. Their original goal was to raise $1,500.

The Willners wrote on the page: "We are collectively revulsed at what's happening to immigrant families on our southern border".

About 133,000 people had donated $5.4 million as of Tuesday afternoon.

"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 realisation of great responsibility".

The money raised is being donated to Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES, ) a group that uses donations to pay bonds for illegal immigrants so that they can be reunited with their children.

RAICES said its other goal is to make sure every child in Texas' immigration courts have legal representation.

Late last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that almost 2,000 children had been separated from their parents in a six-week period as part of its "zero tolerance" policy. Their parents aren't allowed to communicate with them while in custody.

Thomas Homan on the liberal hysteria surrounding separating illegal immigrant children from their families. Bonds for detained migrants typically range from hundreds to many thousands of dollars - amounts that might as well be in the billions for families that arrive here with next to nothing, and have whatever they brought with them confiscated by Border Patrol.

Almost 2,000 children were separated from their adult guardians at the border between April 19 and the end of May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

"The funding we are receiving will save lives".

The government separated about 2,000 children from their parents in the six-week period through the end of May, the Trump Administration announced Friday.

"It was the closest thing we could do to hugging that kid", Dave Willner said.

Correction, June 19 at 10:17 a.m. PT: An earlier version of this story misspelled the last name of Charlotte and Dave Willner.

The Willner's fundraiser is the single largest fundraiser on Facebook up until now, according to the company. Several broader campaigns made up of multiple fundraisers, like one created in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, have raised more. Lawyers must locate the parents, travel to detention centres and meticulously prepare applications for asylum.

"These people need lawyers", Ryan said. "Beyond the punditry and politics, each person suffering from this policy has a huge legal case to begin to prepare for".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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