Migrants across the world need our help, and this Giving Tuesday, giving to charities that help migrants is a great way to help them. This year in the United States, some 69,000 children were detained along the border and about 4,000 kids are being detained currently. Within the past few months, the Trump administration established a “remain in Mexico” asylum program that effectively stemmed the ability for migrants to seek asylum in the United States; Stephen Miller, a White House official who helped craft migrant policy, was outed for having a hand in Breitbart’s coverage of migrants, and the Trump administration tried to instate a ‘public charge’ rule that would make it difficult for migrants who have been on welfare in the United States to attain citizenship. Meanwhile, unaccompanied minors in detention centers languish in frigid, abhorrent conditions, awaiting deportation, while other migrants are stuck in Mexico in open-air camps waiting for their chance to seek asylum themselves. The best charities to donate to are on this list and include RAICES Texas, the Texas Civil Rights Project, and more.
After all, the donations are necessary. Across the world, there are about 23 million refugees looking for a permanent place to call home, 1.2 million of those who urgently need resettlement. While a simple donation won’t overhaul a broken migration system or stop genocides across the world, it can help migrants get the legal representation they need, be reunited with their families, survive the long passage across the desert, or settle in new cities across the world. These donations are best spent on Giving Tuesday, when many nonprofits have donation matches up to many millions of dollars. Here are the nine best charities to donate to that help migrants across the world and in the United States that are worthy of your support on this Giving Tuesday.
The Texas Civil Rights Project is exclusively focused on the Texas to Mexico border. In their work, when family separation was just beginning to ramp up as a policy, TCRP attorneys noticed that many parents at hearings had been separated from their kids with no knowledge of where they were or when they would be reunited with them. One attorney named Efren Olivares, along with his aides, started going to as many hearings as possible in Brownsville, Texas and courtrooms in the surrounding border areas and, when time allotted, writing down all of the information of detained immigrant children and the names of their parents in the hopes that they could help reunite them, someway or somehow. Although the TCRP focuses on many things — voting rights and criminal justice reform being two of them — their immigrant’s rights work is deeply important.
Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières)
Doctors Without Borders is, to be sure, a massive nonprofit, which operates in 50 countries across the world, including in war-torn Yemen, in the migrant camps on the Greek Islands, in South Sudan, Syria, Mexico, and Honduras. Their work is instrumental in making sure that people on the move from oppressive regimes and violence have access to medical care. These are physicians who often work under the threat of terror and violence themselves and their efforts to support the health and lives of people who are fleeing devastation is deeply important. DWB is matching all recurring donations for up to six months.
Amnesty International works globally on a number of issues, including political disappearances, torture, international justice, the protection of indigenous people, and the proliferation of reproductive rights to name a few. They also focus heavily on the survival and dignity of migrant populations. The nonprofit works, among other things, to pressure governments to process asylum claims properly, ensure that migrants are not exploited by employers or human traffickers, and to reunite families.
Border Angels is an all-volunteer non-profit based in San Diego, the town that surrounds the border of Tijuana and California, where hundreds of women and children were recently tear-gassed. In their work, they reach out to Day Laborers to ensure that they are not being abused by their employers, set out gallons of water along common migration routes in order to ensure that migrants who are seeking asylum do not die of dehydration. Most recently, they have been providing support to the Tijuana Caravan that has stalled at the San Diego border. People who would like to donate can donate specifically to Caravan Aid support, the day laborer outreach, or the desert water project.
The International Rescue Committee works with those who are fleeing war, conflict, and natural disasters as well as those who must stay in areas that don’t typically receive aid. They also work to help resettle refugees coming to the United States. In healthcare, the IRC works with community health workers to cure treatable conditions in migrant or war-torn populations and to reverse malnourishment in children. They also focus on sexual violence perpetrated against women in refugee crises and help ensure that kids (and adults) on the move have access, ultimately, to educational opportunities. In short, they do a lot of good work. Unlike some non-profits, IRC also gives people cash assistance so they can have the funds to make their own decisions about how they want to live their lives — and continue to educate migrants on their rights in foreign countries. Today, all donations are being matched up to $200,000.
The Annunciation House in El Paso has been running for four decades and in its tenure has provided shelter for migrants, the homeless, and the vulnerable on the border. Today, with some 1000 families coming it within the next week or two, Annunciation House is in desperate need of assistance to provide food, clothing, housing costs, and transportation assistance to migrants staying there. The Annunciation House exists solely on a volunteer basis and works in conjunction with Casa Vides, a long-term stay house, and Nazareth House, which is for short-term guests just released from ICE custody. Without these essential shelters, migrants waiting to be reunited with their kids or process their asylum claims would likely be homeless. Cash donations would be essential to helping the Annunciation House do its important work housing children and migrants.
As John Oliver so depressingly satirized, the reality that children as young as two are expected to defend their asylum claims in court against a fully-grown judge to prevent themselves from being deported, is a mind-blowingly horrific part of our justice system. The Young Center for Children’s Immigrants Rights aims to right that problem. The non-profit exclusively serves the needs of unaccompanied migrant children from detainment throughout deportation proceedings. The Young Center is comprised of bilingual volunteers who translate between kids and attorneys, attorneys themselves, child advocates, and more. They have offices around the U.S. in such cities as Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Los Angeles and are currently accepting referrals for the appointments of Child Advocates who work with kids in the legal system to help them understand and comprehend what is happening to them. Their larger goal is, of course, to reform the immigration system and the way that it fails to serve children in general. Quite a lofty goal, yes. But a fantastic one. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are matching every single donation to the Young Center given on Giving Tuesday up to $1 million.
RAICES — also known as the Refugee Aid Project by Community Activists in South Texas — is a legal aid group that has become the largest immigration legal services provider in the state of Texas. RAICES, which employs 240 attorneys, legal assistants, advocates, provides low or no-cost legal representation to detained migrants and families undergoing deportation proceedings and has . In 2017, RAICES worked on 51,000 cases without charging a single client for their services. Now, RAICES is working to reunify families who may have been separated at the border through Trump migration policies, helps refer unaccompanied children who are in the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for legal information and representation in court. RAICES has also provided representation to 90 percent of women detained at Karnes Detention Center alone. Beyond helping families with deportation, RAICES also helps families resettle in San Antonio, Texas. They’re currently working to reunite at least 200 separated migrant families.
This year, No More Deaths rose to prominence when one of the organization’s volunteers, Scott Warren, was served felony charges for providing migrants crossing the desert with gallons of water and shelter. The two trials, which ended with Warren being acquitted of all charges, highlighted a major concern of humanitarian activists: that people crossing the border shouldn’t die because they lack socks, food, water, or other basic necessities. As a result, No More Deaths, a faith-based organization, aims to solve this problem by dropping gallons of water as well as other necessities across the Sonoran Desert. This giving Tuesday, every single dollar donated to No More Deaths will be directly translated into a gallon of water placed across the desert.