Julie Schwietert Collazo is the co-founder and director of Immigrant Families Together (IFT). Immigrant Families Together is a grassroots collective founded in response to the zero tolerance immigration policy begun by the Trump administration in 2018 that has resulted in the separation of thousands of immigrant parents and their children at the U.S./Mexico border. Since June 2018, Immigrant Families together has posted bond for 73 individuals and offered ongoing support— in the form of legal counsel, groceries, healthcare, transportation and more— to many of these individuals and a dozen additional families.
We talked about the need for women to share their proud moments and stories of achievement; about the harm and lasting impact of family separation and detention of asylum seekers on the U.S./ Mexico Border; about the origin and daily work of Immigrant Families Together; and about the need for everyone to find ways to plug into an issue that matters to them so we can work for collective change.
Julie Schwietert Collazo is the co-founder and director of Immigrant Families Together (IFT), an organization founded in response to the zero tolerance policy that resulted in the separation of thousands of immigrant parents and their children at the U.S./Mexico border in 2018. She brings her background as a bilingual journalist and former social worker to bear on her work with IFT, which raised more than a million dollars in just over six months, posting bond for more than 72 detained parents, grandparents, and older siblings who were separated from children. The ongoing work of IFT involves providing support to these families — housing, legal counsel, medical/dental/mental health care, and other necessities — as they proceed with their immigration cases. She is currently writing a book with one of the mothers affected by the zero tolerance policy. The book will be published in English and Spanish editions by HarperOne.
Mentioned in the episode:
The first mom bonded out Yeni González
“Why Are Separated Families Told They Must Use a Tiny Georgia Travel Agency to Reunite?” in the Texas Monthly by Katy Vine
“‘An Angel From God,’ and Border Agents Took Her: Trump’s cruel separation of immigrant families continued after he declared he was ending the practice.” in The New York Times by Nicholas Kristof