LaunchGood
Organized by CelebrateMercy

Muslims for Migrants

$162,225

raised of $200,000 USD goal

3655 supporters, Project Closed
Closed

Impact: United States

Registered 501(c)(3)

Verification in progress. Learn More

This campaign will collect all funds raised by February 1, 2020 at 4:45 AM EDT

Reunite Families: Bail Out Detained Migrant Parents


  • ​UPDATE 1 (Wednesday, Aug 7): We are overjoyed that, on our campaign's first daywe have hit our initial goal of $10,000! New Goal: $20,000.
  • UPDATE 2 (Thursday, Aug 8): On Day 2, we've reached $24,000, raising about $500 per hour. The new goal is $30,000. 
  • UPDATE 3 (Friday, Aug 9): We are pleased to announce that the first detained parent was released this morning. This campaign's funds paid his bail amount and he has now reunited with his wife and kids after four months in detention! Learn more about his story below.
  • Update 4 (Friday, Aug 9): Today, the campaign quickly flew past the $30K goal, even reaching $50K by late Friday night. The campaign has been raising $100 every 9 minutes since it began 3 days ago! New Goal: $70,000
  • Update 5 (Saturday, Aug 10): The campaign hit $70K! New Goal: $100,000. 
  • Update 6 (Tuesday, Aug 13): Our campaign has now secured the release of the 2nd detained parent. Read his story below. 
  • Update 7 (Thursday, Aug 15): We are so overwhelmed with joy today, learning that this campaign secured the release of THREE more parents today; 2 fathers and 1 mother. We will share their stories below. 
  • Update 8 (Thursday, Aug 15): Late tonight, only 1 week after our campaign launched, we officially hit $100,000! That's $600 per hour, $10 per minute. That will help reunite at least 10 families. 
  • Update 9 (Thursday, Aug 29): Three weeks after our campaign began, we have now raised $150,000! That's $50K per week. That will reunite at least 15 families (10 have already been reunited). Because donations continue to pour into this campaign, we have raised the goal (once again) and have extended the campaign to Sept 30. New Goal: $200,000.

Help Reunite Families ASAP

    Muslims are leading a new campaign to bail out detained migrant parents, helping to reunite their families as soon as possible. Every $10,000 raised can reunite one family, paying bail for incarcerated parents who cannot afford to. Friends of all faiths are welcome to donate. 

    The crowdfunding campaign is managed by CelebrateMercy, working alongside the National Bail Fund Network. Campaign advisors are Imam Zaid Shakir and Imam Omar Suleiman. Learn more about the campaign below and how your organization can become a Community Partner.

    Resources

    Their Stories: Freed Parents

    Below we will share stories of families we have reunited thus far by securing the release of detained parents.

    • PARENT #1 - FATHER (released Friday, Aug 9): Alejandro (not his real name) has been living in the USA since 2011. Both of his parents were killed by gang violence in the Central American country that he fled. Before he was freed today, Alejandro had been detained for four months without being able to afford bail, separated from his wife and five-year-old child. Today, his wife is overjoyed and can hardly believe that he is back home. He will now be home for the birth of his 2nd child in a couple of months. 
    • PARENT #2 - FATHER (released Tuesday, Aug 13): Tomas (not his real name) is in his mid-twenties, hardworking, family and church-oriented man, from Guatemala. Until today, he had been detained for three months. Tomas fled to the US in 2016 in desperation and sought refuge with his extended family. His uncle who is a lawful permanent resident has been a support and advocate throughout this process. Tomas was reunited today with his partner and his 5-year-old son whom he supports.
    • PARENT #3 - FATHER (released Thursday, Aug 15): Oziegbe (not his real name) is in his late 20s and was reunited with his wife and two children, ages 4 and 6. He has been in detention for 5 months in Georgia was granted a bond in May 2019 and was still in detention because his family could not afford it. His wife is currently facing eviction as she is now the sole income provider for their family. She is thrilled beyond belief that her family is together again. It is their wedding anniversary on Sunday and they will be able to spend it together. Oziegbe is from a West African country and previously had a student visa; he has been in the United States for 7 years. Oziegbe's family shared these two pictures with us to share the joy of when they finally reunited: 

    • PARENT #4 - FATHER (released Thursday, Aug 16): Today, Paul (not his real name) was be reunited with his wife and stepson who he is the parent and legal guardian of. He is in his late twenties and originally from the Caribbean. He is in the process of seeking legal immigration status through his spouse. He was represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center and his wife texted today "God bless you all and thank you soooooo much. Many blessings to you and your organization and partners." He had been detained for 2 months in Georgia and has been living in the US for over 5 years. 
    • PARENT #5 - MOTHER (released Thursday, Aug 16): Alex (not her real name) - from Central America - was released late today after being detained for 8 months in California. She is the first mother we have helped to release; both of her children are under 7 years old. Alex was fleeing horrific domestic violence in Honduras. Today, her lawyer shared that she was "brought to tears" when she learned of the generosity that finally freed her.
    • PARENT #6 - FATHER (released Tuesday, Aug 20): Zubair (not his real name) - from West Africa - was released today after 4 years in detention. He will be reunited with his 78-year-old father and his three-year-old daughter. He was expecting a daughter when he was first detained but never got to see her born nor has he ever seen her in person; only in pictures. His bond was set at $30,000 and was paid for partially by this campaign and also by the Believers Bail Out fund. We were able to visit the immigration jail, in person, to receive Zubair when he was released. We posted a video about his story here:

    • PARENT #7 - FATHER (released Tuesday, Aug 20): Edward* is a single father who is the sole caregiver of his 8 year old son. He was in detention for 10 months in California and is originally from Central America. His bond was $15,000 and this campaign covered $8,000 while Free Our Neighbors covered the remainder. Edward and his son were able to be together for the first time in 10 months this morning. 

    • PARENT #8 - FATHER (released Monday, Aug 26): Igor (not his real name) has been living in Philadelphia for many years. He is a father of two children and has been in processing of pursuing a U-visa which would give him a path to immigration status because of being a victim of a crime. He had been in ICE jail for 4 months before our campaign helped to bail him out.

    • PARENT #9 - MOTHER (released Monday, Aug 26): Elena is the mother of three US citizen daughters ages 19, 16, and 13. They have all been living without their mom since she was detained 11 months ago. Elena's children have faced increasing emotional and financial difficulties since their mother's detention. The immigration judge unexpectedly allowed continuance which, because her bond was paid by our campaign, is allowing more time to gather critical documentation for her case. Her family shared this picture below with our campaign:

    • PARENT #10 - FATHER (released Wednesday, Aug 28): Sammy (not his real name), father of two, is from the Caribbean. He is in the process of obtaining his green card and represented by Legal Aid Services. He was detained when Border Patrol agents unlawfully entered his home without consent or a warrant and refused to let him call his immigration attorney. They also attempted to force him to sign documents.  His two children are young and school-aged. Sammy had been in the USA for 3 years and was detained for 3 months. His attorney said, "They are so thankful for the help they received from Muslims for Migrants. The family was in tears when they heard the news."
    • PARENT #11 - MOTHER (released Sept 6): Elena (not her real name) has been in ICE prison for over a year. She is a survivor of domestic violence and lost her mother to cancer while she was detained. She petitioned for humanitarian parole to see her mother before she died but was denied. She has two children who she has not been able to be in touch with for the past year. 
    • PARENT #12 - FATHER (released Sept 9): Oscar (not his real name) is the father of two young children, 6 months and 1 year old. He is from a Latin American country and has lived in US for over 13 years. In addition to his children he will be reunited with his mother, father and sisters. He was detained in California.
    • PARENT #13 - FATHER (released Sept 13): Juan Carlos (not his real name) was born in a Latin American country and has been living in the US for 18 years, since he was child. He will be reunited with his wife and one year old daughter who have had to move in with a grandparent as his income supports their family. He has been in ICE jail for more than 3 months in Georgia.


    Immigration Detention: Why Bail Bonds? 

    Immigration detention is the practice of incarcerating immigrants while they await a decision on their immigration status or potential deportation. Here are facts about immigration detention: 

    • On any given day in the United States, there are over 50,000 people being held in immigration jails. 
    • Over 60% of detainees are held in immigration jails that are privately-run by for-profit companies. It costs U.S. taxpayers $149.58 every day to detain someone in these privately-run prisons. 
    • Many immigration jails are overcrowded with egregiously poor conditions, a lack of accountability, and a culture of violence that results in system-wide abuses, including solitary confinement and death. Even the Department of Homeland Security's own Office of Inspector General (@DHSOIG) has found widespread abuse in immigration jail (read more). 
    • Only 30% of people in immigration jail are eligible to request bond and only 40% of those that request it are granted bond. Unlike bail in the criminal legal system, immigration bond is not necessarily set early in the process. It can take months to get a bond set. 
    • Bond amounts vary. The average bond amount at immigration jails has skyrocketed in recent years. Currently, the median bond amount is $10,000. Many detainees, even with family support, cannot afford to pay bail. Even if a detainee can afford to pay bail, it makes it very difficult to also afford to hire a lawyer (legal counsel). Those without representation are twice as likely to be ordered deported.
    • Fighting deportation from a place of freedom significantly increases the chances of success in trial proceedings. 68% of detained immigrants released on bond ultimately prevailed in proceedings. 
    • In a recent Market Watch article, advocates have said that the fastest way to help immigrants separated from their children is to pay their bail. “Paying bail can make a huge difference in the trajectory of a case: Immigrants who are bonded out are eight times more likely to win their cases than unrepresented detainees, according to the Immigrant Family Defense Fund."

    The Muslim community extends its hands to help provide relief to immigration jail detainees - specifically parents - who cannot afford to pay bail. By reuniting these families, we wish to respond to hardship with hope, as our faith instructs us, and send a message of compassion through action. 

    Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Whoever relieves someone in difficult circumstances, or relieves someone's debt, God will shelter him in the shade of His Throne on the Day of Resurrection, when there will be no shade except its shade." (Tirmidhi, 1306) 

    He also said: "Show mercy to those on earth, and the One in Heaven will show mercy to you." 

    The Funds

    Through this Muslims for Migrants campaign, CelebrateMercy will distribute all fundraising proceeds to the National Bail Fund Network who will coordinate the bailout process for immigration jail detainees who cannot afford bail. The median bail amount is $10,000 per detainee. The National Bail Fund Network works with over 25 local community bond funds who fundraise to free people from immigration jails.

    Though this is a Muslim-led campaign, we welcome friends of all faiths to contribute. All donations are tax-deductible. 100% of fundraising proceeds will be used to reunite families, posting bail for migrant parents.

    Our initial goal is to raise $10,000 but we will continue to raise that goal if donations come in quickly. We will also update donors, on this page, each time a family is reunited. Without disclosing their names, we will try to share their stories. Freed detainees will also receive a letter from CelebrateMercy on behalf of the Muslim-Americans donors who paid their bail.

    ​Join As A Community Partner

    Community leaders, organizations, and businesses can be listed below as Community Partners. Partners are simply required to promote the campaign through their email newsletters and social media. We will also mention organizations who make contributions of $1,000 or more (e.g., a mosque can collect funds from its congregation at Friday prayers). 

    To become a Community Partner, please email info@celebratemercy.com with your organization's name, city/state, logo, and your position at the organization. 

    The list of partners below will be updated at least once daily.

    • Official Campaign Advisors: Imam Zaid Shakir ( CoFounder, Zaytuna College), Imam Omar Suleiman ( Founder, Yaqeen Institute)
    • National Muslim Leaders: Ziad Ahmed (Founder, Redefy), Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (Founding Editor, MuslimGirl.com), Salam Al-Marayati (President, Muslim Public Affairs Council), Shahed Amanullah (Co-Founder, Affinis Labs), Zaynab Ansari (Scholar in Residence, Tayseer Seminary),  Hussam Ayloush (Executive Director, CAIR-LA), Dr. Khaled Beydoun (Professor of Law / Author), Zahra Billoo (Executive Director, CAIR San Francisco Bay Area), Chris Blauvelt (CEO, LaunchGood), Tarek El-Messidi (Founder, CelebrateMercy), Basim Elkarra (Executive Director, CAIR Sacramento Valley), Dr. Shadee Elmasry (Scholar In Residence, NBIC), Altaf Husain (Vice President, Yaqeen Institute), Arsalan Iftikhar (Founder, TheMuslimGuy.com), Wardah Khalid (Founder & President, Poligon Education Fund), Hind Makki (Founder, SideEntrance), Dr. Ingrid Mattson (Professor, Islamic Studies), Dalia Mogahed (Director of Research, ISPU), Hosai Mojaddidi (Co-Founder, Mental Health 4 Muslims), Muslema Purmul (Co-Founder, The Majlis), Sana Qutubuddin (National Advocacy Coordinator, Indian American Muslim Council), Faraz Rabbani (Founder, SeekersGuidance), Ahmed Rehab (Executive Director, CAIR-Chicago), Dr. Dilara Sayeed (Board President, IL Muslim Civic Coalition), Nadeem Siddiqi (Founder, Tayseer Seminary), Hassan Shibly (Executive Director, CAIR-Florida), Mohamed Soltan (Human Rights Advocate), Suhaib Webb (Resident Scholar, ICNYU)

    About CelebrateMercy

    CelebrateMercy is a US-based organization that teaches about the Prophet Muhammad's life and character through social campaigns, films, and programs. Its recent campaigns raised over $150,000 to repair vandalized Jewish cemeteries, over $150,000 for victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, and nearly $2 million for victims of the New Zealand mosque shootings. Media stories about each campaign reached over 100 million people worldwide, including this TV interview on CNN. To contact CelebrateMercy, email info@celebratemercy.com.

    The  National Bail Fund Network is a national project that works with organizers, advocates, and legal providers across the country that are using, or contemplating using, community bail funds as part of efforts to radically change local bail systems and reduce incarceration. The Network was established in September 2016 and is made up of over 50 community bail funds that use the regular payment of bail as well as strategic bailout actions in campaigns to end money bail and pretrial detention in both the criminal legal and immigration detention systems. The Community Justice Exchange is the host of the National Bail Fund Network.

    Learn More: 

    Media Coverage & Influential Posts

    Click the links below:



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    Updates 4

    CelebrateMercy5 years ago

    3 Parents Released (Pics too)

    Assalamu Alaykum (Peace be with you all): 

    We have exciting updates for you from the #MuslimsForMigrants campaign which has been raising $50,000 weekly

    Please read below: 

    ​3 More Families

    In our last update, we shared stories of the first 2 families that our campaign reunited. We add each reunited family's story to the LaunchGood page; we also post some pictures / videos on our CelebrateMercy Instagram (make sure to follow us there). 

    Here are the stories / photos from the next 3 families that your donations helped to reunite:

    • PARENT #3 (released Thursday, Aug 15): Oziegbe (not his real name) is in his late 20s and was reunited with his wife and two children, ages 4 and 6. He has been in detention for 5 months in Georgia was granted a bond in May 2019 and was still in detention because his family could not afford it. His wife is currently facing eviction as she is now the sole income provider for their family. She is thrilled beyond belief that her family is together again. It is their wedding anniversary on Sunday and they will be able to spend it together. Oziegbe is from a West African country and previously had a student visa; he has been in the United States for 7 years. Oziegbe's family shared these two pictures with us to share the joy of when they finally reunited:


    • PARENT #4 (released Thursday, Aug 16): Paul (not his real name) was reunited with his wife and stepson; he is the legal guardian of his stepson. Paul is in his late twenties and originally from the Caribbean. He is in the process of seeking legal immigration status through his spouse. He was represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center and his wife texted today "God bless you all and thank you soooooo much. Many blessings to you and your organization and partners." He had been detained for 2 months in Georgia and has been living in the US for over 5 years. 
    • PARENT #5 (released Thursday, Aug 16): Alex (not her real name) - from Central America - was released after being detained for 8 months in California. She is the first mother we have helped to release; both of her children are under 7 years old. Alex was fleeing Honduras for her life, escaping a horrific domestic violence situation. Today, her lawyer shared that she was "brought to tears" when she learned of the generosity that finally freed her.

    ​Current Status

    Our campaign has now raised about $155,000 which is enough to reunite 15 families. Because donations continue to pour in, we have extended the campaign for another month and have raised the goal to $200,000. 

    We need your help to promote and support the campaign. Please continue sharing the updates and videos that we post on the CelebrateMercy Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages. 

    Community Partners

    We are also looking for mosques and other organizations who would like to sign up as Community Partners on the campaignCommunity Partners simply have to help promote the campaign via social media and email blasts. We then list them on the LaunchGood page as a partner. Partners can also contribute as an organization; their contribution amount and logo would then be added to the page. 

    For any questions, please email us at info@celebratemercy.com

    Assalamu Alaykum,
    Tarek El-Messidi

    Founding Director, CelebrateMercy



    CelebrateMercy5 years ago

    Media Attention & Touching Tweets

    Good News

    Our #Muslims4Migrants campaign just got national media attention! The Huffington Post published an article about our campaign and - so far - it's been shared to over 45 million social media followers! The article is great, also featuring quotes/videos by Imam Omar Suleiman and Imam Zaid Shakir. 

    One kind lady, when sharing the article on Facebook, said this: 

    Hispanic Caucus

    Even last night, the Hispanic Caucus tweeted the article out. They represent 38 Hispanic U.S. Congressmen/women! Here are the kind words they shared in their tweet:


    Thank Carol

    Please thank the HuffPost journalist Carol Kuruvilla on Twitter and by sending her an email here: carol.kuruvilla@huffpost.com

    A $20K Boost

    After the article came out, we immediately noticed a $20,000 boost in campaign donations, many from non-Muslims! So far, #Muslims4Migrants has raised $135,000 total; that will reunite at least 13 families! On the LaunchGood page, we continue posting stories, pictures, and videos of each family we have reunited so far. View those here: LaunchGood.com/Migrants

    Article Link + How to Help

    Please read the article (link below👇🏽) and continue supporting this campaign by sharing it, volunteering, and donating. We also encourage mosques and other organizations to become Community Partners. Email us at info@celebratemercy.com if you can help/volunteer, even if for a few hours. 


    Peace be with you all,

    Tarek El-Messidi from CelebrateMercy
    tarek@celebratemercy.com

    CelebrateMercy5 years ago

    Parent #2 Released

    Salam [Peace be with you],

    Good News!

    Earlier today, the #Muslims4Migrants campaign secured the release of Parent #2! After three months in detention, he has now been reunited with his 5-year-old son.

    Page Updates

    Please visit the #Muslims4Migrants LaunchGood page where we have added a section with stories of released parents. We have also added a section to track media stories and social media posts by influencers. We have already had two U.S. congresswomen tweet about this campaign!

    Latest Results & How to Help

     The campaign has been raising $600 every hour; now currently at $83,000. Every $10,000 we raise - the median bond amount - reunites another family. 

    Please continue supporting the campaign with your donations and posts. CelebrateMercy is posting regular updates on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. If you would like to volunteer with the campaign, please email us at the address below. 

    Donate & Learn More Here: LaunchGood.com/Migrants

    Salam,

    The CelebrateMercy Team
    info@celebratemercy.com


    CelebrateMercy5 years ago

    Parent #1 Released! (Alejandro)

     UPDATE 1: 
    Muslims for Migrants

    Assalamu Alaykum (Peace be with you all): 

    Three days ago, we launched the Muslims for Migrants campaign. We are overjoyed to report that over $35,000 has now been raised in 3 days! The goal has now been increased to $50,000. We also have very exciting news to share with you below. 

    Parent #1 Freed

    I just heard from the National Bail Fund Network that, after only 2 days since we launched Muslims for Migrants, the first detained parent was released this morning through your donations! 

    Without sharing his real name, for safety reasons, here is his story: 

    Alejandro (not his real name) has been living in the USA since 2011. Both of his parents were killed by gang violence in the Central American country that he fled. Before he was freed today, Alejandro had been detained for four months without being able to afford bail, separated from his wife and five-year-old child. Today, his wife is overjoyed and can hardly believe that he is back home. He will now be home for the birth of his 2nd child in a couple of months. 

    Alejandro and his wife are extremely grateful to all the Muslims for Migrants supporters who helped him to finally pay bail, reunite with his family, and work on his case from a place of freedom. 

    1-Minute Video from Medina

    We are grateful to Imam Omar Suleiman, currently at Hajj, for recording this 1-minute message about the Muslims for Migrants campaign. Imam Omar and Imam Zaid Shakir are both advisors on our campaign and also co-wrote a beautiful letter about it (read it here). To view the video, click here or below. We've also posted this video today on CelebrateMercy's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. 


    On these sacred days of Dhul-Hijjah, please continue to spread the word about this campaign and donate generously. 

    Salam,
    Tarek El-Messidi
    Founding Director, CelebrateMercy








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