In honour of World Refugee Day and in response to this week’s news in the US, I want to highlight a few of the organizations in North America taking action on the issues facing asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants on our continent. Not only when it’s in the media, but everyday:
The American Civil Liberties Union gained my respect when it jumped into action the moment Trump announced the shocking #MuslimBan Executive Order in early 2017. [Forgot all about that one, because so much sh*t has happened since? Get a recap of all the international laws he was breaking with that move.] When these unprecedented scenarios are being displayed all over the media, it is important for all of us to speak up, but it is also SO important to have organizations who fully understand the law around it. Follow what they are doing in the current crisis and continue to do in supporting immigrants’ rights. Thank you, ACLU!
RAICES is a nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas. And I am assuming that, before this week, very few people knew about this organization — myself included. However, in the past week, apparently a lot of people have, and raised nearly $15 million. In fact, they have apparently had so much traffic to their website that it is currently down. Because of that, I got more info from Guidestar (and to see they are legit). If you want to spread those donations around, check out the long list of all of the other organizations in Texas providing legal advice, shelter, interpreters, etc to help reunite these migrant families. Thank you, RAICES and other orgs in Texas!
Bringing it home to Canada, we’ve got the Canadian Council for Refugees. Created in 1978, it has come to be “recognized as a key advocate for refugee and immigrant rights in Canada, educating the public and putting issues onto the national agenda”. While studying immigration in Toronto and doing settlement work in Victoria, I had the privilege of attend a Working Group, then Consultation, and was so impressed. From the executive, staff, youth network, to folks in attendance, there was every walk of life represented, therefore voices of lived experiences, practitioners, and academics were heard side-by-side. I donate to CCR monthly because I believe the policy, advocacy and legal work they do is so important. Thank you, CCR!