A young girl protests immigration policy in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium Friday announced it has launched a fund designed to help immigration detainees who can’t pay bond.

The Borderlands Get Free Bond Fund is accepting applications from immigrants with ties to San Diego or Imperial counties.

It is the first bond fund specifically for immigrants held in or who live in California’s southernmost counties.

“The Borderlands Get Free Bond Fund seeks to bring families back together so they can begin to heal the damage done by (President Donald) Trump’s harsh and inhumane policies,” said Lillian Serrano, chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium. “With continued generous support from our communities, we can make sure that more families stay together.”

There currently are more than 1,700 people in immigration detention centers in San Diego and Imperial Counties, SDIRC spokeswoman Yesenia Padilla said, adding that the minimum cost to post bond is $1,500. The ability to bond out of an immigration detention facility is common, but most detainees can’t afford it.

Donations to the fund have eclipsed $20,000 according to the SDIRC. Bond applications and a donation link are available on the consortium’s website, immigrantsandiego.com.

“I know first-hand what it’s like to be separated from the people you love; my mother was detained in an immigration facility and it was devastating for her, and deeply traumatic for me and our family,” bond fund committee member Ali Torabi said. “The creation of the Borderlands Get Free Bond Fund is a key part of keeping families together in our region.”

–City News Service

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