NJ's ICE contracts are winding down. Help us win releases not transfers by contributing to the First Friends of NJ & NY Bond Fund
In August, Essex County shut down the detention facility in its jail for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Recently, Hudson County officials announced that starting November 1st, they will no longer house or accept any detained individuals facing civil immigration violations. This came three weeks after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill banning state, county, and private facilities from renewing or entering into new contracts with ICE. An end to immigration detention in New Jersey appears to be in sight!
Having less local beds for ICE to fill is a victory for immigrant rights. But it also creates anxiety and uncertainty for those who are currently in ICE detention in New Jersey. They are left to worry that they will be transferred to other centers, possibly out of state, far from their lawyers, families and friends.
Here are some eye-opening facts about why your support is urgently needed:
-Immigration bonds for one individual range from $3,000 to $50,000.
-First Friends is the ONLY organization in New Jersey that has a bond fund.
-Since the pandemic began in March of 2020, we assisted our partners in posting bonds for 70 detained friends, enabling them to live freely with their families while awaiting their immigration hearings.
-Immigrants have a better chance of winning their case on the outside than if they are detained. We need to release friends as soon as possible to prevent transfers to faraway detention facilities.
-We need your help now to make sure that as many of our friends as possible are released and not transferred.
Partnering with legal service providers, First Friends helps pay court-ordered bonds which secures the release of our friends. However, these bonds are typically set by judges to be in the thousands of dollars for just one person. There are currently over 300 people in detention in New Jersey. Every single one of them deserves to be home with their families and free to prosecute their case to remain in the United States from outside of jail.
We have seen a recent increase in bond requests and we continue to receive urgent requests for bond support almost daily, but our fund is nearly depleted. If we were to post bond for everyone currently in detention in New Jersey, at an average bond of $5000, we would need $1.5 million. The financial need is great but we have faith in the generosity of the community and the strength of our partner organizations in New York and other parts of the country. We are ready to rise to meet this challenge.
Will you join us in helping to release our friends from detention by making a donation today?
Your donation to the bond fund will go to paying bond to release a victim of ICE’s cruel policy of indefinite detention [and to help reunite them with their family]. Thank you for any help you can provide.
Your donation will help release our friends from detention. Releases and not transfers to other facilities is what our friends most desperately need. In light of the recent news about the closures of ICE facilities in New Jersey, our friends need your help now more than ever.
While Legal service providers work to free our friends from detention immigration judges often still require our friends to pay hefty bonds- in the thousands of dollars. First Friends bond fund provides financial assistance, posts the bond and often helps coordinate or provides transportation to a family member’s home or the home of a volunteer or agency providing shelter.
During this time of uncertainty for many of our friends inside, we want to make sure we have the funds available to support them.. As the only nonprofit organization in New Jersey that posts bonds for detained immigrants, First Friends continues to receive bond referrals on a regular basis.
Please help us help more people like this unaccompanied child who aged out and was sent to ICE detention in the Hudson County Jail, who had this to say about First Friends- “I am very grateful for First Friends in helping me get out of detention. I was in an unknown place and needed to get out and be reunited with my family. First Friends not only helped me with my bond but made sure I arrived safely in Florida to be with my family.”
Win Release of Those Detained by ICE - Contribute to the First Friends of NJ and NY bond fund