The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention (LA-AID)
LOCATION: Lafayette, Louisiana
From 2016 to 2019, Louisiana went from having one immigrant detention center to having 12, most located in rural areas far from major population centers. There are now eight detention centers in Louisiana and one in Mississippi, close to the Louisiana border.
With UUSC’s support, Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention (LA-AID) is working to build a strong, sustainable volunteer group that can respond to the needs of people in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, either itself or by assisting other local groups. Volunteers write to people in detention; put money in the commissary accounts that are used to pay for phone calls, extra postage, food, toiletries, and over-the-counter medicine; advocate for appropriate treatment and medical care, and provide transportation and overnight hosting for people when they are released from detention.
LA-AID hopes that by fostering connections between volunteers and their communities and immigrants in ICE detention, they will raise public awareness about the waste, injustice, and inhumanity of the system of immigration detention in the United States, particularly in Louisiana. They also hope that through advocacy and their efforts to help immigrants in detention, they will create change within the system while it exists to make it more humane and ease immigrants’ paths as they leave detention.
Image Credit: Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention