National Families Together Hotline
RAICES is proud to announce our “National Families Together Hotline” (866)-ESTAMOS (866-378-2667) to reunite families who have been separated upon entry to the United States. The National Families Together Hotline will be staffed by volunteers from 9am- 5pm CST but callers will be able to call and leave voicemails 24 hours a day.
Volunteers have been trained to gather the information necessary to reunite families, including searching for a parent with all known variations of their names and other indicators.
Once a parent is located, the volunteer will confirm the parent is being detained there with the relevant detention center. RAICES staff will return phone calls with locations to determine next steps, including referral to pro bono legal services, and support with release from detention and reunification.
Immigration is an issue fundamentally about family, families split by borders, by laws that keep parents from children, partners apart, and families trapped in system not designed for justice. For thirty years RAICES has reunited and stood beside families at every stage of the immigration journey; at the border, in detention, in the community, and in the courtroom. Earlier this week we trained over 120 volunteers to staff the hotline. New volunteers can sign up to support here.
This hotline will run alongside a web portal for legal professionals which RAICES launched earlier this week. Through that portal, we have already learned of 453 kids and missing parents. The youngest separated child is just two months old, while the average age is eight years old. The purpose of the portal is to provide legal advocates an easy, confidential place to share data of missing parents. Referrals received will be reviewed by RAICES staff and completed by volunteers or staff as appropriate.
Families belong together, families deserve equal access to justice, and families will deserve support and respect long after this current crisis has passed. RAICES has been here. We will be here now and standing with families in whatever comes next.