MLOV’s Sanctuary campaign prioritizes ending child detention and liberating over 120 children from detention centers in Texas by the end of 2020. MLOV works to free “Unaccompanied Minors” from detention and reunite them with their families in DC. This work arose organically from conversations with community members who were separated from their children at the border or anticipated the arrival of unaccompanied children. MLOV collaborates extensively with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to expedite the release of detained children. Once freed, we connect these youth with mental health and rape crisis services, if needed.
In 2019, we liberated over 60 children and reduced the average time they spent in overcrowded detention centers from 100 to 12 days. With the COVID-19 crisis, we have partnered with Sanctuary DMV to campaign for the closure of the ICA-Farmville immigrant detention center in Virginia so that community members may safely self-quarantine.
Additionally, we support newly-arrived families to access education, housing, and health insurance and provide them with assistance to create Family Safety Plans. We also accompany families fearful of picking up their children at airports and bus stations alone. Finally, our staff provides technical assistance and follow-up for over 80 immigration cases a year, including asylum and immigration applications.