20 ways to help at the border | Spiritual Direction - The Work, J.R. Mahon

The large, glaring, in your face need happening at our southern border is an opportunity to love. Here are 20 ways to use your cash and resources to love people.

  • American Gateways provides legal services and representation to detained parents. It's seeking volunteers to represent low-income individuals and families.

  • Angry Tias & Abuelas delivers financial support to local shelters; transportation to and from bus stations, airports and shelters; and emergency food, water, clothing and toiletries to individuals and families seeking asylum. They are accepting donations.

  • Annunciation House shelters families detained and separated by ICE on the El Paso/Juarez border.

  • Baker Ripley’s team of immigration attorneys is providing free or low-cost legal services throughout the Houston immigrant community.

  • The Humanitarian Respite Center for Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley provides a place for men, women and children to rest, have a warm meal, shower, change into clean clothes, as well as receive medicine and other supplies.

  • Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services says it’s the only full-service immigration legal aid clinic serving low-income immigrants and refugees in the southwestern U.S.

  • Good Neighbor Settlement House has a respite center in Brownsville operating 24/7. The center is accepting donations like water bottles, juice boxes, animal crackers and peanut butter crackers to hand out to people awaiting their asylum hearings.

  • Human Rights First is one of the nation’s largest providers of pro bono legal representation for asylum-seekers, including families and people in detention in Texas, California, New York and Washington D.C.

  • Immigrant Families Together works to bond out asylum seekers and reunite them with their children. It also provides food to families and government and foster-agency-approved housing to expedite reunifications. The group is accepting donations.

  • Immigrant Justice Now is working to provide supplies, like bus tickets, Pedialyte, shoes, prepaid cellphones and underwear, to immigrant families and children.

  • Interfaith Welcome Coalition assists refugees, asylum seekers and at-risk immigrants. They have an overnight shelter at Travis Park Methodist Church and help migrants get transportation — buses or planes — as they travel to other places through San Antonio. 

  • Justice for Our Neighbors provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant individuals and families in Texas.

  • Kids In Need of Defense partners with major law firms, corporations and bar associations to create a nationwide pro bono network to represent unaccompanied children through their immigration proceedings. Volunteers don’t need to have immigration law experience.

  • La Posada Providencia in San Benito runs a shelter for people in the legal process of seeking asylum, residency or some other legal alternatives.  

  • La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) provides low-cost legal services and deportation legal defense to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas. They also organize to reunite families that have been separated at the border. 

  • Through their Project Corazon, Lawyers for Good Government has sent nearly 40 volunteer attorneys to the border over the past year. Their team has also provided remote assistance to individuals needing help with credible fear interviews, brief-writing and remote bond proceedings. They are accepting donations.

  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services has a Welcome & Respite program that takes in migrants recently released by ICE at bus stations to offer them hot meals, a place to sleep, assistance organizing their  journey and shoelaces. They also provide both short-term and long-term foster services for unaccompanied migrant children.

  • The El Paso-based Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center provides legal representation to asylum seekers. It’s accepting donations.

  • RAICES is a nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas. It’s accepting donations and volunteers at its website.

  • South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project is looking for volunteers and attorneys (even ones not experienced in immigration law) to provide legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas.

J.R. Mahon