US Muslims fundraise $125,000 for detained migrants

21st Aug 2019
US Muslims fundraise $125,000 for detained migrants

By Umar Farooq

 

WASHINGTON (AA): An American-Muslim non-profit initiative has raised more than $125,000 to bail out detained migrants in immigration detention centers, its fundraising site said Tuesday.

The Muslims for Migrants campaign launched Aug. 7 by CelebrateMercy has already surpassed its original goal of raising $10,000.

“By reuniting these families, we wish to respond to hardship with hope, as our Islamic faith teaches us, and send a message of compassion through action. Though this is a Muslim-led campaign, friends of all faiths are encouraged to contribute,” Tarek El-Messidi, CelebrateMercy’s Founding Director, said in a statement.

The effort was supported by two prominent American imams, Omar Suleiman and Zaid Shakir, who said “migration lies at the very heart of the prophetic tradition in the Abrahamic religions.”

“When we view the sickening conditions those migrating to our southern borders are exposed to, we should be touched and moved to action knowing that our religion grants those fleeing persecution, oppression, or ecological devastation, the right to migrate and to be duly considered for asylum,” they said in a joint statement.

More than 50,000 people are currently detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, according to multiple reports, while 20,000 are in Customs and Border Protection centers.

Another 11,000 children are currently in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Undocumented migrants or legal asylum-seekers are held in detention facilities until they go to trial, where a court will decide if they can stay in the country, or until they can pay their bond.

The current median bail amount is about $10,000, according to CelebrateMercy. The amount of money raised so far is able to bail out 12 people.

So far, the non-profit has been able to bail out five parents, reuniting five families, and on Tuesday a father who has been detained for four years is scheduled to be released.

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, 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 migrants are fleeing destitute conditions, including rampant poverty and gang violence in the hopes of securing safety or asylum in the U.S.

[Map of USA. Creative Commons]

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