WHO WE ARE

Detainee Allies envisions a U.S. immigration system that welcomes refugees, protects asylum seekers, and operates from the common sense that migration is not a crime and that detention and profit has no place in that system. In pursuit of that vision, we are committed to abolishing immigrant detention, while supporting work towards humane, compassionate, and efficient immigration policies and processes.

CAN I MAKE A ONE TIME DONATION?

Yes, via PayPal to otayallies@gmail.com.  Your donation will go directly to detainee commissary / phone accounts and to pay the costs of receiving and sending mail to detainees (postage, office supplies, printing).  We are not a 501c3; donations are not tax-deductible. Thank you!


CAN I START SOMETHING LIKE THIS IN MY TOWN?

Yes, you can.  We are happy to share our process and set up a Zoom conversation to get you started.  Click for instructions here. The immigrant detention industry is enormous.  There is probably a detention center near where you live.  Use this map, researched by experts at Columbia University, to find it. Then email otayallies@gmail.com and we’ll share our methods and what we’ve learned.

WHY WE CENTRALIZE OUR MAIL & CONTRIBUTIONS

Writing refugees fleeing dangerous circumstances is a sensitive process for all involved.  To protect essential legal information–for example, the refugee’s “A-number”–and to foster the safest possible connections between allies and refugees, we route mail through a centralized postal box and donations through a centralized PayPal account that is visible to all members of the organizing committee.

CAN I SEND ITEMS OTHER THAN A LETTER?

We are not allowed to provide comfort or personal items directly to detainees.  However, we welcome art (no crayons, glitter, stickers, or oil paints) sized 5×7 or smaller. We also welcome Spanish-language print media–poems, soccer news clippings, etc.–that can help detainees feel more human and connected.  Art and media can be sent directly to the Otay Allies mailbox: 6549 Mission Gorge Road #219, San Diego, CA 92120, and we will distribute it to detainees.

WHO ELSE IS DOING THIS WORK?

We work alongside and in conversation with other community groups  (including SOLACE and Pueblo Sin Fronteras in San Diego).  Our immigration-related legal information is provided by Torchlight Legal.  We are an affiliate of the Freedom for Immigrants national network.