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Immediate aid for asylum seekers

$13,214 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 134 people in 4 months
Created January 4, 2019
The Last Mile
The Last Mile helps connect individuals and families who have been accepted by USCIS into the U.S. as asylum seekers as they make their final travel arrangements to their sponsor homes across the country.  

There is currently no formal process to ensure they make this connection, and The Last Mile is providing translation services, telephone access, and money for travel necessities, specifically to those entering the country through Phoenix.  Travelers arrive safely at their final destinations.

All funds raised will go directly to critical resources, such as clothing, shoes, travel necessities and communication assistance, to help travelers arrive safely at their final destinations.

Please note: because this is a response to an urgent need,  we are still in the process of obtaining Arizona non-profit status.   Therefore,  until further notice,  donations are not tax deductible.

We hope this does not affect your ability  to respond to continue to help us respond to the urgent need. Stay tuned for updates as paperwork gets processed!
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Quick update for donors: it has been a hectic month. Your valuable donations have allowed us to place phones with almost a hundred people trying to complete the final part of their long journey to their families in the US.

Recently, this past weekend, The Last Mile AZ tapped into the volunteer translator network we have built for our primary phone mission, and leveraged it to allow a church with no Spanish speaking members to temporarily house hundreds of asylum-seekers while we contacted their families to arrange travel (pictured is the command center table, where we tracked everyone through the process).

Your donations allowed us to rent high capacity vehicles last minute when ICE started dropping people at the Greyhound station, but it drained our account to do so, so I am incredibly proud that the community has stepped up with donations to let us continue this critical work!

Share this link anywhere you can, we can only continue to serve this vulnerable population effectively because of your generous donations.
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Busloads of families who have been admitted into the United States seeking asylum continue to be dropped off without travel arrangements at local bus stations by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE), relying on valley charitable organizations to find ways to provide temporary shelter and meet the basic needs of the families. Families who have been admitted into the United States as asylum-seekers need to travel from Phoenix to their families or sponsors across the country while they await immigration proceedings.


ICE currently does not ensure asylum-seekers are equipped to reach their sponsors across the country. Instead, ICE agents drive buses of families directly to local churches who indicate they have the temporary capacity to receive the families and assist with travel arrangements. If no churches are available, ICE agents will simply leave bus loads of families at Phoenix bus stations with no food, water, money, or means of reaching their final destination. These families need basic necessities, such as food, bathing, and medical attention.


In response, local nonprofits, relief organizations, community leaders, and churches have been struggling to meet the basic needs of families, and to prevent a humanitarian crisis. Specifically, these organizations fear if they do not provide for the immediate basic needs of these families, these families — who do not speak English and are unfamiliar with the United States — could rapidly become homeless, ill, or victims of crime. Furthermore, these families are required to report to immigration offices across the country to proceed with the asylum-seeking process, despite not being provided with organized travel arrangements.


Phoenix-area Community organizers have been working together to provide temporary shelter, clothing, toiletries, medical aid, and food in order to meet the basic and hygienic needs of migrant families while they contact friends and family, and to work with their families to arrange transportation to destinations throughout the United States. However, these organizations can no longer keep up with the demand, and ICE has started repeatedly and consistently dropping off busloads of asylum-seeking families at Phoenix bus stations.


The Last Mile AZ, together with a collective of volunteers and community organizers, is asking officials at the city, state, and federal levels to work with ICE to come up with a solution to ensure the safety and wellbeing of asylum-seekers and prevent a crisis of asylee homelessness throughout the Phoenix metro area. Solutions could entail 1) asking ICE to improve treatment of asylum-seekers in their custody, 2) allowing asylum-seekers to contact US sponsors and arrange travel while they are being processed and given documentation, confirming travel plans upon release from ICE facilities, 3) providing a semi-permanent shelter or system to support travelers, and 4) providing monetary funds to organizations that are assisting asylum-seekers.


--Ginger Torres is a founding member of The Last Mile AZ, a local non-profit organization that provides travel phones and translation services to asylum-seekers
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Thank you all for your amazing support! Thanks to your generosity, we put the first group of ten traveler kits, with prototypes of our communication/translation quick reference sheets, prepaid phones, and bubble mailers to ship them back, together and into needy hands. Another large batch of phones is on the way and will be delivered Wednesday now that we have the process down!

Every $50 donated lets us create a critical communication lifeline that connects a vulnerable family to a dedicated translator. This is in addition to all the work The Last Mile is doing to make sure all of the physical needs, such as clothing, toiletries, and food, are being met. Community donations continue to be enough that we can focus on peace of mind and travel safety, and we are still urgently reaching out to other established charities and relief organizations to make sure these needs stay met.
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The Last Mile was featured on Arizona's 3TV this morning, learn more about donation drop-off locations and other ways you can get involved! We are still in need of items for families, and your generous monetary contributions to help asylum-seekers today. Thank you to the generous contributors thus far in the campaign, please continue to spread the word and encourage your friends and family to pitch in.

https://www.azfamily.com/news/phoenix-area-churches-host-donation-event-for-migrant-families-seeking/article_a9dc21a8-1118-11e9-a4d2-378a764653a2.html
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$13,214 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 134 people in 4 months
Created January 4, 2019
The Last Mile
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