Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 08072563 (posted Jul. 25, 2008)"
Dear AILA Pro Bono Community,
It's always when the chips are down that something great develops. I am pleased to share with you that AILA has agreed to join several colleague agencies in establishing the National Immigrant Bond Fund (NIBF). NIBF seeks to reaffirm the values of dignity and due process by assisting immigrants swept up in ICE raids ("worksite enforcement actions") to post bond quickly in order to secure a fair hearing in Immigration Court. The fund is fiscally managed by Public Interest Projects, Inc. (PIP). A national steering committee has been created - of which AILA is a member - to entertain proposals by community organizations who are assisting immigrant families in post-raid situations. The fund is based on a model created following the New Bedford raids in Massachusetts. Similar smaller funds are being discussed in some states, but NIBF is the first fund that is national in scope. It has already provided monies to Casa of Maryland for individuals who were arrested in recent raids in Annapolis and elsewhere.
Additional information regarding the Bond Fund is below, and you can learn more and/or consider making a donation at www.immigrantbondfund.org. Please forward this information to your networks and local community based organizations so that we can respond quickly when raids happen.
Thank you for your commitment to AILA's mission to promote justice and advocate for fair and reasonable immigration laws. Your service and support to your communities is invaluable.
Pro Bono Associate
American Immigration Lawyers Association
SUPPORT THE NATIONAL IMMIGRANT BOND FUND
For too long U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have raided workplaces across the country, detaining and separating hard-working immigrants from their children, while leaving their local communities in total disarray.
ICE agents have detained, shackled and pushed men and woman alike through hearings in which these detainees have been deprived adequate legal representation, including an attorney of choice. In some cases ICE has flown detainees thousands of miles from their families to be tried in detention centers on the border.
These harsh enforcement actions are causing an economic, constitutional and humanitarian crisis in the United States.
Legal experts across the nation agree that the best chance immigrant detainees have to avoid deportation is to post bond immediately and contest their case in the courts. Posting bond sets jurisdiction in the district where the arrest took place, thereby avoiding ICE’s rapid transfer of detainees outside the district. Posting bond also increases the detainee’s ability to argue his/her case for a stay of deportation before a judge. Lastly detainees able to post bond have better access to community resources and family support.
Go to http://www.immigrantbondfund.org to help families remain intact and honor our nation’s commitment to human dignity and due process.
The goals of National Immigrant Bond Fund are to:
- Assist immigrants caught in raids to post bond so that they can assert their right to legal counsel and due process in court
- Build public opposition against raids and support for immigration reform by focusing on the lack of rights afforded detainees.
- Support local community’s efforts to respond effectively to ICE enforcement actions and raise public awareness of the need for detained immigrants to access due process.
100% of your tax deductible contribution will go directly to an immigrant seeking due process in our courts (families of detained immigrants will be required to contribute towards the posting of bond). Released bonds will be returned to the Fund to assist other detained immigrants.
The National Immigrant Bond Fund is a fiscal project of the Public Interest Projects, Inc. (PIP). PIP strengthens the work of philanthropic institutions, nonprofit groups and other public interest organizations sharing a vision of a society that ensures justice, dignity and opportunity for all people.