Volunteers who delivered and organized supplies

Financial Aid for Raid Victims’ Families

MIRA thanks all of you for your continuous support in this crisis.

For more photos and a Spanish-language update on MIRA’s work during the raids and throughout 2019, please visit this post created by MIRA Organizer Luis Espinoza.

Immediately following the August 7th immigration raids, MIRA mobilized to provide relief. Just as we did after the 2008 Howard Industries raid in Laurel, Mississippi, where 592 workers were arrested, we set up emergency intake centers right away. 

Once we verify that an individual or family is impacted by the raid, we assess their needs and issue checks on their behalf to landlords, utility companies, and more. We also distribute pre-paid debit cards, so that some victims can buy groceries and medicine. This rapid response is especially important for families whose primary breadwinner has been detained or prohibited from working and are suddenly without any source of income. As of this writing, through our emergency relief system, MIRA has paid over $75,000 in direct payments to landlords, utilities and other bills for victims of the August raids.

Family of eight whose mother was arrested in raids
Above, a family of eight that MIRA continues to help. The mother of this family was arrested in the raids and is still detained, and was not allowed to continue breastfeeding her infant child. MIRA purchased special formula for the baby and is in close contact with the family throughout this time.

MIRA is also part of a fundraising coalition. MIRA, El Pueblo, Southern Immigrants Rights Network (SEIRN), ACLU Mississippi, Mississippi Center for Justice, and MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law have contributed money to a joint fund. The joint fund is administered by Catholic Charities of Jackson. Based on what is most needed, the funds are being distributed to impacted families at the sites listed below. Catholic Charities has set up intake centers for financial relief in the following locations:

  • Immaculate Conception Church, 833 W. 6th St., Laurel, MS 39440; Ph: (601) 426-3473
  • St. Anne’s Parish Center, 207 Red Dog Rd., Carthage, MS 39051; Ph: (601) 267-7190
  • Sacred Heart Parish Center, 225 E. Peace St., Canton, MS 39046; Ph: (601) 859-3749
  • Trinity United Methodist Mission, 430 Hillsboro St., Forest, MS 39074; Ph: (601) 469-1346 
  • 1st United Methodist Church, 29 S. 2nd St., Morton, MS 39117; Ph: (601) 732-6124

Families who qualify include: a family member detained during the raids; families caring for a child whose parents were detained; and workers fired from PH after the raids. There are no religious or church requirements of any kind. Bills being paid include rent, utilities and medicine.

Though Catholic Charities is now distributing aid from the joint fund, MIRA continues to work with families to pay bills that may not be supported by the coalition fund. Donations to MIRA can be sent through the DONATE button; MIRA website, http://www.yourmira.org; or by check to MIRA, P.O. Box 1104, Jackson Mississippi, 39215

Volunteers unloading supplies from a truck
Volunteers unloading cases of diapers and other supplies at a relief center.

Material Donations Update 

We continue to receive a tremendous amount of non-perishable food donations and the MIRA office waiting room has been absolutely packed with boxes. An organization in California is regularly shipping entire pallets of diapers and we are distributing these in communities almost daily.

If you want to donate food, the most needed items are: rice, black or pinto beans, and Maseca.

If you have non-perishable food 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 Ext.8 for Luis Espinoza. Or if you’re out of town, you can ship to: Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, P.O. Box 1104, Jackson MS, 39215. Please only use the U.S. Postal Service.

All photos by MIRA Organizer Luis Espinoza.

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