US Muslims raise $13,000 to release detained migrants | Eurasia Diary -

14 December, Saturday

US Muslims raise $13,000 to release detained migrants

Over 80,000 immigrants stay in detention centers, waiting court decision or bail out

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An Islamic non-profit initiative in the U.S. has raised $13,000 to bail out detained migrants, according to an American news outlet.

The Muslims for Migrants campaign launched on Monday by CelebrateMercy has already exceeded its original goal of raising $10,000 in two weeks, reported Religion News Service on Thursday.

"Looking at a project like this, I can’t think of something that is more useful to do with your money [than] to help detained families," said Ryan Smith, a case manager with Chicago’s Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants.

"It’s something that’s underfunded, and for the families I work with it’s often eight months to a year before they’re released," Smith added.

More than 50,000 people are currently detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, while some 20,000 are in Customs and Border Protection centers, the report said. Another 11,000 children are currently in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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The detained immigrants -- undocumented or legal asylum-seekers -- are held in detention facilities until they go to trial, where the court will decide whether they can stay in the country, or until they can pay their bond.

According to the Freedom for Immigrants foundation, these cash bonds are typically higher than bails in criminal cases and can reach as high as $250,000, with an average of $14,500.

Smith said the most of his cases range from $10,000 to $15,500.

Scores of migrants from Central American countries are grappling with the U.S. anti-migrant policy at the border.

U.S. President Donald Trump has pursued a hardline approach to immigration, both legal and illegal, since coming to office and has particularly singled out Mexico for what he says is a lack of action to stem migrant flows, where people are fleeing destitute conditions, including rampant poverty and gang violence in the hopes of securing safety or asylum in the U.S.

In May, Trump announced tariffs on imports of Mexican goods that were ultimately averted when the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement the following month that included Mexican efforts to increase security at the country’s northern border as well as additional efforts to stem migrant flows.

Washington also signed a safe third country agreement with Guatemala to reduce immigration flows in late July.

The agreement forces Central American migrants to apply for asylum in Guatemala and be rejected in that country before they can apply in the U.S., even though under U.S. law migrants are allowed to apply for asylum within the U.S. or at official ports of entry.

Anadolu Agency

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