RAICES Offers $20m to Post Bonds for Separated Mothers

Today at 12 pm EST RAICES will attempt to post bonds in Washington D.C. for families separated by the Trump Administration at the border. We will host a press conference on Capitol Hill calling for all separated families to be reunited, and to demand that the administration accept our $20m bond check to enable the speedy release of the mothers of the approximate 2500 children that have been separated so these families can be reunified. At Capital Hill, we will be joined by Congressman Jaoquin Castro, Senator Martin Heinrich, Congressman Eric Swalwell, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressman Raul Grijalva.

Despite a court order requiring the administration to release and reunify children under age five by today, families remain separated because the administration has failed to comply with the court order. More than one million people across the world have donated over $20m. to RAICES and their message is clear, reunite the families separated at the border who fled their home countries to seek safety in the United States. The donations were intended to be used for bond payments to get mothers released from detention centers so they can be reunited with their children. Bonds often cost between $5-10,000 so our $20m can pay approximately 2,500 in one go. By offering this bond payment, RAICES hopes to help the administration comply with its court ordered obligations.

At 2pm today, we’ll begin a 24-hour People’s Filibuster to #ReuniteEveryChild outside the White House with the same demand: calling on President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  to accept the check so that every mother can be released and reunited with her children. We’re calling on members of the public, elected officials, and people of conscience to join us to sustain this people’s filibuster for 24 hours. 

“RAICES is dedicated, and uniquely positioned to take on the task of paying bonds for parents separated from their children, one by one. But it doesn’t have to be that hard. RAICES will do it, but the administration forced us into into this position, and we demand that they end this now. If they don’t, we’ll continue our work. We will write every single individual bond check. The administration’s actions have already put a a moral stain on the United States, and failure to accept this bond check will only delay and put reunification at risk.” – Jonathan Ryan, Executive Director, RAICES

“Today marks the 14 day deadline imposed by Judge Dana Sabraw of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California that required the Administration to reunite children under five with their families. But the fact that the Administration is only expected to reunite 54 of the 102 children identified is cause for concern not only in Congress but among the American people,” said Rep. Castro. “This is a human rights abuse, and we must continue to hold the Administration accountable to their stated plans of reuniting every last one of these children with their families. Judge Sabraw should appoint a special master to take over this process. We need answers, timelines, and details regarding reunification and we won’t rest easy until we know these children are back with their loved ones.” – Congressman Joaquin Castro

“Under President Trump, our government is holding families hostage. Americans from all backgrounds gave money to RAICES to keep families together. The money that RAICES is offering should be viewed less as bond and more as delivering a ransom for the lives of children and families. Define American has joined forces with RAICES in this unprecedented act because more than half-a-million people contributed to show a different perspective of American values–that it’s our moral obligation to immediately #ReuniteEveryChild that was separated from their parents. ” – Jose Antonio Vargas, Define American, CEO and founder

“I am grateful to come together with RAICES for this important event because I was born and raised on our country’s border in San Juan, TX (a suburb of McAllen, TX).  As I have always honored the sacrifices that my own mother, Natalia, made to give me the life I have now, I also fight for all the other “Natalias” out there.  These are the people who sacrifice and live among hatred to provide their families a chance at a life that they didn’t have.  We must remind people that we are talking about humans with real hearts and not caged animals.” – Cristela Alonzo, Define American advisory board member and producer, writer, comedian

“All children who have loving parents deserve to be with them. The second you become a parent, your life’s work is to protect that child at any cost. To not know where your baby is or even if they are somewhere safe must be excruciating. Regardless of the circumstances I could not sit idly by and watch this happen in my country. Silence is complicity.” – Tara Strong, actress

“I am here today because in this moment there is nothing more important than solidarity in the call for an immediate end to the incarceration of families and children. As a black woman who was separated from her father at a young age due to incarceration – I can personally testify to the impact on children of abrupt and violent separation from their parents. I am here to demand that these mothers and fathers are released, that they are reunited with their children” – Cat Brooks, Executive Director of Justice Teams Network and Oakland mayoral candidate”

“Families belong together, and we won’t allow the Trump administration to defy the nation and the courts by keeping them apart. Right now, advocates like RAICES are moving heaven and earth to individually locate parents and post bail for them. But the Trump administration has the ability and responsibility to fix the crisis they created by instituting this disgusting policy. It’s time for the administration to release these families now rather than needlessly prolonging their agony.” — Ben Wikler, Washington Director, MoveOn

“The administration’s failure to reunite families is a doubling down on the “zero humanity” policies that created this crisis to begin with. Hundreds of thousands of us marched on June 30, and we will continue to organize until this torture of children and families ends.” – Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Define American is the official media partner for this event.