Immigrant communities across the country are experiencing a surge in detention and deportation of both children and adults. Nation-wide, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested 40% more people during the first nine months of 2017 than the same period in 2016. Once a family member is detained by ICE, removal proceedings can take several months or even years to complete. Prolonged periods of detention can push families into poverty and create tremendous emotional strain for both parents and children.

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IFDF has been one of the organizations that has made the most direct difference in the lives of Alameda County Public Defender Clients. It has served as a source of hope for actual reunification of clients with their children and families where there otherwise would be none. Our clients come from low-income communities and struggle financially – but no child should have to suffer separation from a parent for the sole reason of a parent’s financial inability to pay a bond or pay application fees. IFDF is making a difference in the lives of immigrant families and communities every single day. I honestly don’t know what we would do without them.

Raha Jorjani, Director, Immigration Representation Project, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office