FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2019
Immigrant Advocacy Groups Launch #MeltICE Campaign To Free Immigrants from ICE Detention
LOS ANGELES — Today, Freedom for Immigrants joins dozens of immigration advocacy groups across the country in the #MeltICE campaign organized by the Community Justice Exchange's National Bail Fund Network in order to shed light on U.S. immigration detention and one of the most critical tools to access freedom: bond funds.
As part of the campaign, Freedom for Immigrants is releasing the video below featuring Noheli, a Venezuelan asylum seeker who was released from ICE detention after being granted a $3,000 bond. She was able to secure her freedom through the Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund, for which Freedom for Immigrants is obligor.
“Thousands of immigrants are forced to languish in ICE detention simply because they can’t afford to pay their immigration bond. Many others aren’t even granted a bond hearing and are forced to remain confined until the conclusion of their cases. This is unacceptable,” said Christina Fialho, Co-Founder/Executive Director of Freedom for Immigrants. “No person should be caged in the first place. But while we fight to abolish this system, we must also fight to free as many people as we can so they can reunite with their families and communities and fight their cases on the outside. A person’s immigration status should never determine their access to freedom. As Noheli said, ‘The best thing you have in life is your freedom, and when they take it away from you, they take everything.’”
In the following video, Grisel Ruiz, staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Chair of Freedom for Immigrants’ Board of Directors, explains why immigration detention bond funds like ours are vital.
Since 2013, we have raised a total of $753,000, which has been applied directly to paying the immigration bonds of 132 people. In addition, every dollar raised will be recycled in perpetuity, until our work to end the immigration detention system is complete.
To learn more about the National Bail Fund Network and other immigration bond funds, click here.