Published: June 5, 2020
Pima Meeting is in Tucson, Arizona, 60 miles (106 kilometers) from the U.S.-Mexico border.
In February 2019, Pima Meeting approved a minute that established our Migration Action Committee (MAC), which has this as part of its charge: “Partner with other Tucson and Arizona organizations and faith communities in identifying and raising funds for people in migration, for example: provide food or meals, pay for emergency medical care, pay for immigration bonds.”
Some of MAC members attended an immigration bond hearing at the Eloy Detention Center and were moved to pay the young woman’s bond. She was released from Detention, reunited with her family in the U.S., and the attorney from the Florence Immigration Rights Project facilitated the return of the bond money to us. Other faith communities in Tucson – including the Mennonites and the Shalom Fellowship – have had similar experiences.
These experiences led Pima Meeting to create a special fund to receive donations to pay bonds so that people in immigration detention could be freed to pursue their cases outside of detention.
The obvious blessing of the bond fund is that close to twenty people have been freed from detention to be with family and friends while they are waiting for trial. Attorneys say that being out of detention weighs in a person’s favor when the case comes to trial.
The money given for some bonds may never be returned to the bond fund, that is where faith that right action with is being taken steps in: “We give with open hands,” as the Mennonites say.
The Communication Committee of Pima Meeting has created a web page for the Migration Action Committee, complete with donate buttons for those who are led to contribute.
from Bea Quiroga, Pima Monthly Meeting (6/2/2020)