In late June, a campaign launched by three Facebook employees turned into a massively viral sensation, raising more than $20 million to help reunite families separated at the border by U.S. immigration officials.
Now, the organization that received those funds is putting them to use to try and free every single mother currently in detention.
On July 10, the nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), which provides legal support and advice to immigrant families, held an event in Washington, DC., in which they offered the Department of Homeland Security a $20-million check to cover the bond expenses of more than 2,500 mothers currently being held in detention.
“We will write every single individual bond check,” RAICES Executive Director Jonathan Ryan said. “The administration’s actions have already put a moral stain on the United States, and failure to accept this bond check will only delay and put reunification at risk.”
The offer came on the same day that the federal government missed a court-mandated deadline to reunite children under the age of 5 with their families.
Yet the action citizens and RAICES have taken is a powerful example of how everyday people move into action and hav a direct impact.
The $20 million raised is astounding — it’s the largest fundraising campaign in Facebook history. But the votes and voices of millions of donors may speak even louder than the money they gave.
As RAICES said in a statement, while they and their supporters obviously oppose the White House on this issue, they presented the $20 million check as an opportunity for President Donald Trump to “make a deal” — reuniting separated families while still enforcing the law.
“Trump says he’s a deal-maker, here’s his chance to cut a deal,” the group said on Twitter.
The family separation crisis isn’t over, but this is just more proof that everyday people are making a difference.
Watching the ongoing crisis at the border can be emotionally exhausting, but that’s why groups like RAICES are so important. They are advocates for the families themselves — but also the amplified voice of those speaking out against the policy of family separation.
Moments like this show that every voice truly does count.