The Indivisible Georgia Coalition is so very proud of the work done by our members Indivisible Columbus, Georgia, have done to get Paz Amigos up and running. Do visit their page if you are willing, and donate to this worthy cause.
In the meantime, please read this article from AP News about the dismal conditions, the difficulties of families who are so far away from their loved ones, and the difficulties of finding representation in immigration court.
We are grateful for Marty Rosenbluth and Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative for their work and dedication.
“When detainees are released, it’s often in the evening. If they aren’t fortunate enough to have family waiting for them, they’re driven 30 minutes away to Columbus and left at one of two bus stations.
“There is no set time of release, so it’s difficult to formulate plans,” said Rita Ellis, founding member and chief financial officer of Paz Amigos, a volunteer organization that springs into action when bus station staff notify them that a new group of detainees has arrived.
The organization helps between 40 and 50 men a month, picking them up, feeding them and often putting them up in a hotel or a spare bedroom at a volunteer’s homes. Donations of snacks, clothes and backpacks are handed out and phone calls are made to family members to arrange their travel.
“I think it’s a great gap filler to help the men transition from detention to being free, and there’s that scary moment when they’re left in limbo and they’re unsure of where they are and how to get home to their family and friends,” Ellis said. “We provide that service to make sure they get where they’re going safely and with a little kindness.”Excerpt from “In tiny town, immigration detainees outnumber residents”
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