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JFS Stands for Families


Our Jewish values compel us to Welcome the Stranger and respond to the needs of the vulnerable in our community. We share your concern for families who have been impacted by recent immigration policies and are working hard to connect them to legal assistance and support.

Within Jewish Family Service, our dedicated team of immigration attorneys are committed to providing free and low-cost services to immigrants and refugees in San Diego. This includes pro bono representation for separated families and unaccompanied minors detained at the border.

We appreciate the many calls we have received from community members asking how they can help. Because of procedures limiting access to families being held in detention centers, we are currently limited to providing legal services. Therefore, our greatest need is for resources to support our work with families who are otherwise unable to secure legal representation.

In the August Jewish Journal is a full-page joint statement from JFS and the ACLU expressing our strong opposition to the zero-tolerance policies that are undermining are immigration system. This statement is a reflection of our values at JFS – to protect those in our community who are vulnerable, to value the dignity of every individual, and to work towards positive change that enables people to move forward. With the ACLU and tens and tens of partners we proud to be leading the efforts of the San Diego Rapid Response Network.

We invite you to learn more about the San Diego Rapid Response Network and encourage you to join in standing for dignity and protection of immigrants in our community.

Thank you for your support of JFS and of the individuals and families we serve.

Ways to Take Action

Support San Diego Rapid Response Network: Jewish Family Service is leading the legal action of the San Diego Rapid Response Network. Together, we can ensure that no one stands alone in our community.

Individuals seized by CBP and ICE have few resources to defend themselves. The SDRRN stands ready to respond to the needs of vulnerable immigrants and their families – advocating for their safety, providing emergency assistance, and coordinating free and low-cost legal representation to defend against family separation and unjust deportation. For volunteer legal opportunities with the San Diego Rapid Response Network, please contact our Network Coordinator, Sandra Alvarado, at salvarado@rapidresponsesd.org.

Please make a donation to help us carry out this vital work – 100% of your donation goes directly to the SDRRN. Donate at www.rapidresponsesd.org

Donate. Make a donation to our Pro Bono Immigration Defense fund, providing free legal assistance for families facing deportation. Additional funds will enable us to add much needed bandwidth to our attorney team.

Volunteer. At this time, our need is specifically for volunteer attorneys and interpreters. If additional volunteer opportunities to work directly with families become available, we will circle back with those who have expressed interest. If you would like to be considered to help now or in the future, please contact our Volunteer Engagement team at volunteer@jfssd.org or (858) 637-3050. Make sure to include specific areas of interest and specialized skills that may apply.

Call the White House and leave a message stating your opposition to “zero-tolerance” immigration policies. Sample Message: Put an end to the policy of making asylum seekers criminals. You can access the comment line at (202) 456-1111.

Contact your elected officials. Sample message: Sample Message: Put an end to the policy of making asylum seekers criminals.

Thank you for standing for the protection of families seeking safety in our community.

Read our statement from June 21st, 2018.

In the past six weeks, more than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the border. Parents taken into criminal custody and prosecuted for illegal entry. Children as young as infants taken to detention centers – away from their mom and dad.

Our Jewish values call us to champion the needs of the vulnerable in our society. That’s why, for 100 years, JFS has welcomed and supported refugees and immigrants in their efforts to rebuild their lives.

The United States was established by refugees and developed by generations of immigrants – and how we treat the stranger reflects on the moral values and ideals of our nation.

The policy of separating children from their parents exposes families to unthinkable trauma and puts our nation’s very character at stake. Together, we must stand for families. We must stand for the protection and due process of immigrants and asylees. We must do this with our voices and our actions.

In response to growing fear and apprehension within our community, JFS has helped launch the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN), a broad coalition of 40+ human rights and service organizations, attorneys and community leaders convened by the ACLU to educate, protect, and assist immigrant and refugee families with legal support and social services.

Within the Network, JFS is leading the legal response effort for any individual or family facing deportation and is committed to reuniting families who have been separated.

Immigrants seized by Border Patrol or I.C.E. have few resources to defend themselves. In many cases, their legal proceedings are expedited, and rulings on deportation are made in a matter of minutes. One such case involved a single mother in El Cajon, who was arrested while on her way to church with her family. The mother was swiftly deported and her children – all U.S. citizens – were left to decide whether to join her in Mexico or remain in the U.S. on their own.

In the short time since the SDRRN’s launch, JFS has provided legal assistance to 150 families facing deportation. But with current policies putting more and more families at risk, we need your help to carry out this vital work.

Thank you for standing for the protection of families seeking safety in our community.

L’Shalom,