Humanist Groups Band Together to Provide Legal Assistance to Refugee Children July 29, 2014

Humanist Groups Band Together to Provide Legal Assistance to Refugee Children

Over the past several months, tens of thousands of children from Central America countries have crossed the border into the U.S. in order to escape instability, poverty, and even sexual violence. Many of them are coming alone. While government organizations like FEMA are providing them basic necessities, most of these children have no legal representation during mandatory immigration hearings.

Many large religious organizations are already supporting various efforts to help these children. Now, Foundation Beyond Belief and the American Humanist Association are giving atheists a chance to do the same. They know God isn’t going to help these children, but we can.

As part of the Humanist Crisis Response program, the groups are raising money for two excellent organizations that provide legal assistance to those kids:

KIND (Kids In Need of Defense)

KIND was founded to provide quality and compassionate pro bono legal representation and protection of basic human rights for unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States. KIND is the leading organization protecting children who enter the US immigration system alone and strives to ensure that no such child is without a legal advocate. KIND also assists in safe repatriation to the child’s home country or safe integration into the U.S. as appropriate and works to shift both the public conversation and policy in a sustainable and humane direction.

The Florence Project

The Florence Project is a nonprofit organization providing free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Arizona. Although the federal government provides public defenders for indigent criminal defendants, it does not provide attorneys for people in immigration removal proceedings. As a result, an estimated 86 percent of immigrant detainees go unrepresented due to poverty. The Florence Project strives to address this inequity through direct service, partnerships with the community, and advocacy and outreach efforts.

You’re welcome to donate to those groups on your own, but if you want to be part of a larger Humanist response to this crisis, please consider giving to them via Foundation Beyond Belief. 100% of all donations will go to the two beneficiaries.

“As this crisis has unfolded, it has become clear that the major need for these children is not food and shelter but legal advocacy to protect their basic rights,” said Dale McGowan, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief. “No child should meet a national immigration system alone. KIND and The Florence Project are doing brilliant work to ensure that they are not alone, and the humanist community is proud to support them.”

“This campaign is an opportunity for humanists to put into practice our values of justice and human rights and to ensure that vulnerable children receive the legal representation that they need,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

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