Writers for Migrant Justice Raising Money for Separated Families Tonight

Colorado writers are gathering at 5:30 p.m. today, September 3, for a "Writers for Migrant Justice" event that will raise money for an organization helping to reunite separated immigrant families.

“This event is incredibly important in having dialogue across all communities in terms of immigration and being able to educate members of the community as to why these policies are inhumane to not only immigrants themselves, but also to immigrant families that are being separated," says Natalie Earnhart, who is organizing the event at Grandma's House, 1710 South Broadway.

Activists in over forty other cities across the country will host similar events today and tomorrow to raise money for Immigrant Families Together. Denver's gathering will include literary and poetry readings, multimedia performances and improv dance. Franklin Cruz, a poet we profiled a year ago, and Christopher David Rosales, an award-winning novelist, will be among the performers.

The lineup is diverse, and that's intentional. "Denver tends to be a pretty white city, particularly in the arts," says Earnhart. "It’s always important to center immigrant voices and POC communities and voices."

Although the Trump administration officially ended its family separation policy over a year ago, families are still being separated when parents are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And reunification is often expensive. For ICE detainees, the lowest bond is $1,500, and recently that amount has been increasing, even for asylum seekers with no criminal history, immigrant-rights advocates say.

The Immigrant Freedom Fund in Colorado is helping bond out detainees from the GEO detention facility in Aurora; donations can be made directly to the Immigrant Freedom Fund here. At tonight's event, attendees will be able to donate directly to the "Writers for Migrant Justice" GoFundMe account; donations made there go to Immigrant Families Together, a national organization that helps immigrant parents bond out from ICE custody so that they can reunite with their families.
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.