Vulnerable Families Are Being Imprisoned. You Can Prevent It With Houses of Welcome — State Action Alert

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button_icon_state_alertMothers and children, who fled to the United States for safety, are now being imprisoned in detention centers. We are deeply concerned as the government expands the detention system for these vulnerable families.

Fortunately, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has opened the door to the possibility of viable, community-based alternatives to detention for mothers and children.

Since the 1980’s, LIRS has been on the forefront of confronting the rise of immigration detention by providing services and developing models for these community-based alternatives.

Many of you and your congregations have been reaching out to LIRS, taking action to care for vulnerable migrants.

Now, we seek your help as we develop a proposal to the federal government for a program that would allow families to be released into the care of communities that are prepared to offer hospitality and support. Called “Houses of Welcome,” our model would provide families released from detention the protection they need as they navigate the complex legal process. Each communal residence would provide meaningful support, services, and safety to these families.

We need your help to make Houses of Welcome a reality!

  1. Lease or give a vacant parsonage, school, church, or dorm to serve as a House of Welcome.
  2. Organize a congregation-wide clothing or furniture drive to donate locally to a House of Welcome when such needs are identified.
  3. Sponsor a family or multiple families at a local House of Welcome, providing regular transportation, friendship, and support.
  4. Host regular community or educational opportunities for families living in the community or at a House of Welcome.
  5. Provide Spanish interpretation services, case management services, or immigration legal assistance with appropriate expertise.

We are excited about the potential to provide a truly effective community-based alternative to detention. For more information, please see our backgrounder or contact Matt Herzberg at mherzberg@lirs.org.

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