Immigrant Freedom Fund of Colorado

Opening Doors for Justice

Tag: ice

April 2020 Update

Three People Bonded Out Today

We received a sizable check today from the Loretto Literary and Benevolent Institution as well as a one from our faithful donor, Mary Peckham. As always, we are grateful for all donations of whatever size. We cannot pursue this project without donations from all of you.

Before we bonded out people today, we were able to bond out a second transgender woman, who was transferred from New Mexico.  She has rejoined friends on the east coast with help from Casa de Paz.

The people bonded out today are a couple of local folks from Fort Collins and Greeley, Colorado and a man who lives with his wife and three children in Montrose, CO.  I’m so happy that the Immigrant Freedom Fund could reunite them with their families. The man from Fort Collins is only twenty-two and much missed by his mother in particular. The man from Greeley is needed by his wife and four kids and will appreciate having medical care available due to his seizures and fainting spells.  The man from Montrose is 46, and you can imagine that his wife will be glad to have him home to help with their three young sons.

We are grateful to the folks who referred these people to us, two law students from the University Denver Strum College of Law, an immigration lawyer from Louisville, KY and a volunteer from Casa de Paz in Denver, CO.

Other Good News

The next person we want to assist is a woman, who is anxious to get back with her children. They have been placed with relatives she does not trust to take good care of them. Her bond is $5000. A church friend of hers has raised half of that, and we hope to raise the rest with your help as soon as possible.

Please continue to send checks to the Immigrant Freedom Fund, 745 East 5th St., Loveland, CO 80537 or donate from our website.

Stay healthy as best you can during these weird times.

With hope for the future,

France Liefert
970-391-2547

More March 2020 Updates

One More Bonded Out

Your donations helped bond out the forty-third person the Immigrant Freedom Fund has assisted! This twenty-two-year-old man from Guatemala was brought to our attention by the Colorado Immigrant Resources Coalition (CIRC), of which we are a member. He has been living in Colorado Springs and was arrested by ICE at the end of January this year. His girlfriend contacted CIRC and raised $1500 toward his $6500 bond. The Immigrant Freedom Fund will pay her back this money once the immigration case is resolved and the Department of Homeland Security returns the bond money to us.

More Good News

ICE and GEO, the for-profit prison in Aurora, will be releasing all of the women in one of its pods this evening! There are about twenty women still held in detention in Aurora and all of them will be released. The heroes at Casa de Paz are working hard to pack bags of essentials for each woman and to enlist volunteers to get them to the airport and their new homes in the US.

And…

The woman who answers the phone at the office of Homeland Security in Denver says that no new detainees are being processed into GEO in Aurora. There are still some people being moved there from other detention centers if they are not suspected of contact with anyone who is infected by the coronavirus.

The Flip Side

One of the ICE officials at GEO Aurora has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Because of this, immigration court inside the prison was closed yesterday. One of our applicants was scheduled for his bond hearing. Since his case was not heard, he will have to stay in ICE jail until bond can be set.

Donations

We do not know what effects the pandemic will have on the ICE prison system.  We want to be ready to bond people out as they become eligible. Please donate what you can through a check to Immigrant Freedom Fund, 745 E. 5th St., Loveland, CO 80537 or use the Donate button on this site.

March 2020 Update

One More Bonded Out

This morning the wonderful Margaret Bobb bonded out a young man from Mexico who has been living in Colorado for a while. He had earned DACA status and has a US citizen fiancée and an eight-month-old US citizen child. He is grateful for your contributions toward his bond as well as to his family, who were able to supply $1000 toward the total of $5000. (When family members contribute to a person’s bond, the Immigrant Freedom Fund issues them a Memorandum of Understanding that the contribution will be returned to them once the case is resolved and the bond money has been returned to us.)

Another applicant we had from Jamaica was bonded out by his family, who came up with the total $6000.  We hope they did not take out an expensive loan.

Client Pending

A man who continues to wait for our assistance with bond is a twenty five year old from Mexico, who has also been living in Colorado. He was stopped by police for a traffic violation and turned over to ICE. His bond has been set at the ridiculous amount of $10,000. His family first sought a loan from a bondsman. They were told they needed a credit card with a $10,000 limit or the deed to a home as collateral. This is a family that lives in a mobile home park. Fortunately, the immigration lawyer they consulted told them about the Immigrant Freedom Fund.

Currently, we have a little over $8,500 toward this young man’s bond.

Coronavirus and GEO

Although no confirmed cases of COVID-19 inside the GEO jail have been reported, several Denver newspapers (Denver Post, Colorado Times Recorder, Colorado Independent) have reported that ten people who are suspected of being exposed to the virus have been isolated from the rest of the inmate population. Visitation to all inmates has been stopped. We have heard through our applicants that those incarcerated are living in fear of the epidemic sweeping the prison. GEO has done a notoriously poor job of healthcare before now, and there is no reason to believe they are doing any better in these circumstances.

In addition to donating what you can to the Immigrant Freedom Fund to bond as many people out as possible, please write to your representatives and ask that all immigrants being held by ICE for wanting to live in our country be released. According to a recent TRAC study at Syracuse University, 99% of immigrants show up for their hearings whether or not they have paid bond. There is no reason to hold people, especially with an epidemic threatening health and lives.

Google “how to contact your elected officials” and demand the release of immigrant prisoners.

Donate

In addition to needing $1500 toward our current applicant’s bond, we anticipate receiving more applications quickly over the next few weeks. Please donate what you can through a check to Immigrant Freedom Fund, 745 E. 5th St., Loveland, CO 80537 or use the Donate button on this site.

February 10 News

Dreamer Bonded Out

Our most recent bond was $5000 for a young father who lost his DACA status because he didn’t have the $500 to pay for his renewal when it was due. His wonderful family from the Caribbean was able to pay some of his bond, and your generous donations covered the rest.

Applicants Waiting

The next person we want to assist is a woman, who is anxious to get back with her children. They have been placed with relatives she does not trust to take good care of them. Her bond is $5000. A church friend of hers has raised half of that, and we hope to raise the rest with your help as soon as possible.

The next man who has applied for assistance is also from Mexico. He has been working on his immigration case since 2014. It was delayed because ICE lost his file for a while. He has three young children and a wife, who need him. We want to bond him out before his individual hearing, which is set for April 2 of this year.

Transgender  Women in Aurora

The ICE jail in New Mexico has recently sent several transgender women to the Aurora ICE jail. People who are transgender receive notoriously poor treatment while in detention. They face discrimination from other inmates, as well as from prison staff. We want to be ready with money if any of them become eligible for bond. Currently, they are being kept in a segregated area of the ICE prison and are not allowed to work with the rest of the inmates.

What Can You Do?

  • Please pass this email on to friends who might be interested in helping immigrants who have been arrested by ICE. Let them know that people who are bonded out have a much better chance of winning their immigration cases and may not have a decisive hearing at immigration court until well after the November elections.
  • Invite us to speak about the Immigrant Freedom Fund to your faith-based organization or any service club you belong to. Many people do not realize what immigrants are going through in detention and that raising bond is a way to help some of them.
  • Donate.