The immigration raids did lasting damage to vibrant communities in Mississippi, including Canton, Forest, Morton, Pelahatchie, Carthage, and Laurel / Bay Springs (which was the site of a similar raid in 2008). Hundreds of families and children are traumatized, hundreds of people are in detention, and hundreds face complex legal battles. Beyond the local impact, these raids speak to the national crisis – our corrupt immigration system and how it’s designed to fail the most vulnerable people in society, while protecting the wealthy and powerful. The devastation here in Mississippi is cruel and inhumane policy come to life.
People around the country (and the world) are outraged, and they’re taking action. We’ve received an overwhelming amount of press coverage – major media outlets across the United States, as well as press in Spain, France, the UK, Mexico, and Guatemala are reporting this story. Thousands and thousands of individuals have shared the story in their social media and discussed with friends.
And folks everywhere are finding ways to support the families in crisis. Generous people right here in Mississippi and in places as far flung as Switzerland, Oregon, and New York are donating to provide relief. We’re seeing online and in-person fundraisers organized by artists, chefs, yoga studios, designers, and independent fundraising platforms (more on this soon). Others have sent physical donations: food, childrens’ clothing, and personal items.
We’re grateful for your support. The families here know that you’re sending love and kindness to them. Centers are set up in churches in all the affected communities for legal intake and food distribution. Remember that every dollar matters at this time! So please continue to share the word and give as generously as you can.
A Few Brief Notes from the Field
MIRA is committed to providing immediate financial relief to the families who are in crisis. We’re working with churches and other community partners to set up a system so we can pay bills on behalf of victims. Housing costs (rent or mortgage), utilities, and medical are among the bills that we will cover for people affected by the raids. More details on this coming soon.
MIRA Legal Project is helping organize teams of volunteer attorneys with immigration, criminal and other areas of experience to assist in hundreds of these cases. We are doing this along with the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights, Mississippi Center for Justice, MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi Law School, Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU-MS, El Pueblo, United Food and Commercial Workers, and a few others. Also, MIRA Legal Project Director, Attorney L. Patricia Ice will spend the week of August 26-30 working with detainees at two ICE detention facilities in Louisiana as part of a team of volunteer attorneys organized by the Southern Poverty Law Center. MIRA Organizer Luis Espinoza will also work with the team as an interpreter/translator.
Volunteer Attorneys needed! If you are a lawyer with experience in either immigration, criminal, employment or housing law, and desire to do pro bono work, please contact MIRA Legal Project Director, Attorney L Patricia Ice at email@example.com.
MIRA is providing aid items to the affected communities. We received a huge amount of physical donations –food, childrens’ clothing, supplies– and have been coordinating distribution with churches and other community organizations. If you have physical items to donate and you’re in the Jackson area, you can drop them by our office. Please call the MIRA office at 601.968.5182 x2 for instructions. Or if you’re out of town, you can ship to: Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, P.O. Box 1104, Jackson MS, 39215. Our local postal workers have been very supportive to us during this time.
Support families in crisis
We’re preparing for months and even years of legal aid to defend those who were detained. We’re also providing immediate financial assistance to families to help them cope with lost income. Please donate to ensure that we protect as many workers (and their families) as possible.