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Asylum-seeking refugees who come to the United States out of fear for their lives should not be treated like criminals.  We seek to uphold standards of human decency and government accountability by communicating directly with detained refugees at Otay Mesa and SeaTac Detention Centers.  We stand up to the political bullying, dehumanizing, and invisibilizing that makes refugees even more vulnerable in an already chaotic and dangerous situation.

Every detainee deserves human contact and communication, the ability to call family members, access to essential information including legal support, reunion with separated children, standards of living consistent with international human rights conventions, and the opportunity to tell their stories.

You can help by committing to write one letter a week to a detainee and making a modest monthly contribution to the commissary accounts that allow detainees to call their families and buy basic human necessities.

To help detainees at Otay Mesa (San Diego):

To help detainees at SeaTac (Seattle):

Harrowing first-hand account from a refugee legal clinic in Tijuana.

This post is from an Otay Allies volunteer who followed our list of ways to help and spent the week of New Year’s volunteering for Al Otro Lado (, which provides legal advice to people seeking asylum encamped in Tijuana. There are an estimated 10,000 refugees in Tijuana with inadequate humanitarian and legal resources. Please read and share. […]

“All are brothers in the eyes of God”

Last week, we received a letter from Ulises, an LGBTI refugee held in prison at Otay Mesa while he seeks asylum.  He relayed a remarkable story: “Inside there are 140 of us who have organized to share our commissary.  We are from all over the world:  Pakistan, Vietnam, China, Haiti, Cuba, Honduras, Africa.  We do […]