How do we know these donations are actually being used by the families in the detention centers? I’ve heard they don’t actually take donations.

Detainment centers are not receiving donations. The donations that we are receiving and the wish lists we’ve provided are supporting humanitarian respite centers. These respite centers are responding to the crisis by providing compassionate care via a safe environment, legal orientation and general information, a warm meal and water, hygiene products and a warm shower, a clean change of clothes, temporary shelter, medical supplies and assistance if needed and transportation services to individuals who are seeking safety and opportunity after their release from detainment. The respite center is the first point of contact for individuals who are released from immigration detainment centers. These individuals and/or families seeking asylum arrive at different times of the day and stay approximately 24 hours at the center before they journey to their final destinations.

Why don't you help the people who are here like the homeless or veterans?

We are women with multiple children who run nonprofits and we are great multi-taskers. We are able to help people in our community, in our country and even in other parts of the world - and we do. Why can’t we just work to help everybody? Why do we have to pick and choose? If you have a campaign that you started to help the homeless or veterans, let us know! If you want help starting a campaign, contact our organizations and let us know what we can do to help you.

Why are you helping people who came here illegally?

The right to seek asylum is codified under U.S. law. The 1980 US Refugee Act and international law guarantee individuals the right to seek asylum regardless of where they cross the border. Regardless of HOW someone arrives in the United States or whether or not we agree with how they arrived, they deserve to have their basic needs met and to be treated with dignity and respect. These individuals are not “illegal” - they are human.

what is the process for seeking asylum at the border?

The current law requires that a person be in the United States to seek asylum. Currently, there is no process to ask for a visa or any type of authorization in advance for the purpose of seeking asylum at the border. You just have to show up. Here are the steps:

  • Arrive at the border at a port of entry

  • Receive a referral for a credible fear interview conducted by an asylum officer

  • Based on the interview, the officer will decide whether the applicant has a “significant possibility” of being eligible for asylum

  • If so, the officer refers the individual to immigration court in a defensive asylum application process. If not, the applicant is ordered removed but may seek review by an immigration judge in effort to appeal the negative decision.

  • The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) requires all individuals seeking asylum at ports of entry to be detained.

  • Once a detainee’s claim is confirmed as credible, the individual is released to carry on their journey. They usually go to a respite center after being released from detainment.