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The Joyce Foundation Responds to the Immigration Crisis for Families


Three organizations working to protect the rights of immigrant and refugee families have received grants from the Joyce Foundation to support their work responding to the crisis sparked by the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The organizations provide services in Chicago as well as Minnesota and Ohio, and the grants will help expand the region’s network of immigration legal assistance and policy advocacy. The awards are as follows:

  • Vera Institute of Justice – $300,000 to support its network providing immigration legal services. 
  • National Immigrant Justice Center – $150,000 to support the expansion of NIJC’s legal team to respond to criminalization of asylum-seekers and separation of parents from their children.
  • The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights – $65,000 to hire a family reunification coordinator to expand its capacity to serve as child advocate for children in Chicago and Michigan.

The grants were made from the Special Opportunities Fund, which gives the foundation a measure of flexible funding with which to respond to situations outside its core policy programs.

“These organizations are working to support the region’s most vulnerable in a time of crisis, and we are proud to provide funding to help expand their work,” said Beth Swanson, vice president for strategy and programs, who manages the Special Opportunities Fund. “This is also an opportunity to invest in the future of the Great Lakes region by supporting family reunification and advancing the rights of the next generation.”