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New Community Engagement Initiative

Actions you can take to support migrants

Focused on research and education on migration, the UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration is also a community of citizens, concerned with ways of reacting to the humanitarian crisis confronting immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers in the United States as well as world-wide.  In addition to remaining informed about the situation confronted by immigrants, this page will direct you to a variety of ways  – ranging from the small, but very do-able to the larger, more ambitious – of generating  meaningful support.  Writing to immigrant detainees can provide an immediate, compassionate response to immigrants in great distress.  The guidelines that we have posted will suggest how to frame your letter.  You can download the illustrated solidarity letter, print it out, add your own words, scan it, and then email it back to us at The letter will then be delivered to detainees in the Adelanto detention center.

Actions you can take to support migrants

In addition to remaining informed about the situation confronted by immigrants, there are many ways – ranging from the small, but very do-able to the larger, more ambitious – to provide meaningful support.  Below is a list of actions that you can take, some without making a step away from your computer.

  1. Write letters of solidarity to detained people. See the attached guidelines. You can also download an illustrated piece of stationary below and then email your letter to
  2. The fastest and most effective way to help reunite families is to contribute to counsel and/or bail costs. Learn more: Legal Service Providers: Immigrant Family Defense Fund; ACLU Indigent Defense Project; Kids in Need of Defense; RAICES; Al Otro Lado; and Immigration Defenders Law Center. Bond funds: Freedom for Immigrants National Bail Fund; National Bail Fund Network.
  3. Organize a fundraiser for the above. Consider asking family and friends to donate to these groups for your next birthday or in lieu of holiday gifts.
  4. Offer temporary shelter or sponsorship to a migrant through the following groups: Room for Refugees; Asylum-Seekers Sponsorship Project;Freedom for Immigrants; and Otay Mesa Detention Resistance
  5. Donate air miles to ensure that people can reunite with their families: Lawyers for Good Government; Miles for Migrants
  6. Donate money and/or supplies (backpacks, shoes, blankets, toiletries, toothbrushes, and more) for migrants at the border: No More Deaths
  7. Join Border Angels for a water-drop mission
  8. Write to Congress on current legislation.  RAICES provides a template: and online form; find your representatives here:
  9. Volunteer your time. Here are some places that could use your support in specific ways:;
  10. VOTE in the next election. AND tell others about the actions you’ve taken. Post on social media. Make visible these small efforts so you inspire others to do the same.

Download file:Solidarity-letter-guidelines-bt-zuz.pdf

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Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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