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As ICE Raids Ramp Up, These Organizations Provide Crucial Legal Aid for Immigrants

Just as many of us began to seriously wonder if the summer of 2019 could get any bleaker, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) went ahead and conducted the largest-ever immigration raid in a single state. On August 7, ICE arrested nearly 700 undocumented employees across six Mississippi food-processing plants. (ICE also raided a seventh plant, but there were no workers present to arrest.)

For the families of those arrested, the legal, financial, and psychological fallout from the raids may have only just begun. Almost immediately following the arrests, reports circulated of terrified children who’d come home from school to discover their parents were gone — an experience of formative, and potentially lingering, trauma. And, of the roughly 300 arrested workers that have reportedly been given court dates and released from detention, none have been allowed to return to work. Their fates remain uncertain.

Fear of further ICE crackdowns has Latinx communities throughout the state of Mississippi, and across the country, worried for what the future may have in store. If that includes you, know that you and your loved ones don't have to face that uncertainty on your own. Immigrant advocacy organizations nationwide are stepping up to protect your rights and defend your dignity. And if you're not a person who needs immigration-related support, consider helping these organizations fund their essential work.

1. ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union has undertaken numerous recent legal challenges against ICE. The ACLU is also involved in monitoring and documenting state-by-state litigation that involves alleged violations of immigrants' constitutional and statutory rights by immigration enforcement officials. The organization’s national website has a database of resources for immigrants facing scenarios like detention near the U.S. border, a deportation order, or a home raid by police or ICE. The information is available in both Spanish and English, as well as Arabic, Chinese, Creole, Farsi, French, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Somali, Tagalog, Urdu, and Vietnamese. People who wish to donate to the national office of the ACLU can do so here.

If you’d prefer to direct your donation to the ACLU of Mississippi, you can do so here. To donate to another local affiliate, use this link to find their page.

2. National Immigrant Justice Center

NIJC has a page dedicated to legal and logistical information for immigrants who want to prepare for ICE raids and other immigration enforcement actions. All information is available in both Spanish and English. The organization also provides low-cost or free legal assistance and information to low-income immigrants in Chicago, where NIJC is headquartered.

NIJC also operates in Northern Indiana, Gurnee, Illinois, and Washington D.C. You can donate here.

3. MS Raids Act Blue

This Act Blue fundraising page was set up in direct response to the Mississippi raids. Unless a donor specifies otherwise, all donations are split evenly between the ACLU of Mississippi, the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, and four other local and national organizations that are working with the affected families. You can donate here.

Protesters in New York City gather to oppose ICE.Protesters gather in New York City.Getty Images4. Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants

Tara Tidwell Cullen, director of communications for NIJC, tells Allure that this fellow Chicago-based immigrant support organization also belongs on our list. "[The Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants] provides interfaith religious visitation for detained immigrants, as well as accompaniment for folks after they are released from detention," Cullen says.

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