From the Washington Post:
The San Francisco area couple had heard — as much of the United States had by now — that President Trump’s administration has begun jailing migrant parents caught crossing the border and sending their children to shelters. The president’s chief of staff has called the new “zero-tolerance” policy a deterrent against illegal immigration.
But the Willners had also learned that a lump of cash might thwart the government’s plans.
Just like arrested Americans, detained migrant parents can often post bond and simply walk out of jail.
They can then, presumably, collect their children from government custody and live in the United States until their court hearings, which are often months away.
Or they could, if they had the money. Bonds for detained migrants typically range from hundreds to many thousands of dollars — amounts that might as well be in the billions for families that arrive here with next to nothing, and have whatever they brought with them confiscated by Border Patrol.
So the Willners created a Facebook fundraiser over the weekend to raise $1,500 — enough to free a single migrant parent with a relatively low bond.
“It was the closest thing we could do to hugging that kid,” Dave Willner told the Mercury News.
Five days later, the Willners have raised more than $8 million and climbing — overflowing all previous optimism.
“We can confirm this is one of the largest fundraisers we’ve ever seen on Facebook,” Roya Winner, a spokeswoman for the social media giant, told The Washington Post, back when the amount was less than $4 million…
In more ways than one, the surge has overwhelmed the Texas nonprofit that will receive the money, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).
If donations keep up at pace — $4,000 a minute at one point — the nonprofit is likely to take in more cash than it raised in all of 2016, according to its public financial records.
It plans to use the money not only to bond parents out of immigration jails but also to provide lawyers to the parents and children as they fight in court to stay together and stay in the United States…
Much more — including one additional reason the money is so important now — at the link.
Even “skeptical killjoy” Felix Salmon is on board:
…The RAICES donations are not only going to an excellent and effective cause, they’re going to an excellent and effective cause that scales. Effectiveness of donations is hard to measure at the best of times, but it’s much easier than normal in the case of RAICES, because of the way in which the funds are going to be used. To put it another way: The RAICES money will be well-spent, not because we can be sure that RAICES itself is well-managed, but rather because of what it’s going to be spent on…