Thank you for being a Lifeline to immigrants and asylum seekers in detention! The unprecedented expansion of detentions makes the need for volunteers that more urgent.
All of the volunteer opportunities listed here below can be done remotely and you will always be supported in your role.
Lifeline Operators work in shifts answering calls directly from immigrants in detention centers. All operators work through the Lifeline Dashboard where you’ll be able to follow a guided intake with each caller. As an operator you will be able to flag any next steps for other teams to follow up with. Anytime you are on a scheduled shift there will be someone on-call to support you with anything. In many facilities immigrants are allowed access to the phone 24/7, so this opportunity can definitely fit around any schedule.
Languages needed: English, French, Spanish, Hindi and Punjabi Parish.
Technology: You will need to be on a web-connected laptop/pc while on shift. Headset is helpful, but not required.
Operator: You should be comfortable on the phone and must have a compassionate heart!
Currently, there are people seeking political asylum from all over the world, especially Latin America. This means most documents they bring from their home countries to support their cases are in Spanish or the native language of the country they come from. There is always an urgent need for translators, people who are able to write/translate from Spanish/Portuguese/Lingala/Bangla/French into English and vice versa. There is no need to be on duty at specific times for this role.
Out of all of the opportunities this is the one that requires a real life commitment to this work. In order for anyone to have a chance at getting out of detention, whether through a bond from a judge or parole from ICE, they need to have an address in the United States.
For 95% of detained immigrants this is not an issue, most everyone has a relative here. However for that 5% this is an insurmountable obstacle. A good sponsor would be willing to open up their home and allow an asylum seeker to live with you in what we call transitional living. We ask for a six-month commitment so that the person you sponsor will have a chance to get acquainted with the community, and hopefully be able to move out on their own.
If you are interested in this opportunity we would be happy to walk you through the details, and even connect you with others who have also sponsored asylum seekers. It is definitely a rewarding process and we’re happy to talk it out.