About

Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention is a volunteer-run organization formed in the fall of 2019 in response to the burgeoning population of immigrants in ICE detention centers in Louisiana.

From 2016 to 2019, Louisiana went from having one immigration detention center to having 12, most located in rural areas far from major population centers. There are now eight detention centers in Louisiana and one in Mississippi close to the Louisiana border.  

Cooperating with national organizations like Freedom for Immigrants and Raíces, and local groups in Louisiana and Mississippi like Voces Unidas, we attempt to respond to the needs of people in ICE detention. Volunteers write to people in detention; put money on the commissary accounts that are used to pay for phone calls, extra postage, food, toiletries, and over-the-counter medicine; advocate for appropriate treatment and medical care; and provide transportation and overnight hosting for people when they are released from detention.

LA-AID hopes that by fostering connections between volunteers and their communities and immigrants in ICE detention, we will raise public awareness about the waste, injustice, and inhumanity of the system of immigration detention in the United States, particularly in Louisiana. We also hope that through advocacy and their efforts to help immigrants in detention, we will create change within the system while it exists to make it more humane and to ease the path of immigrants as they leave detention.

The Acadiana Group of LA-AID is a division of the 501(c)(3) organization Communities Uniting in Prayer and Service (CUPS) and support of immigrants is faith-based for some of us, although we are not all Christian or all religious.

E-mail for LA-AID is laadvocatesforimmigrants@gmail.com.

Paper mail can be sent to Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention, P.O. Box 51441, Lafayette, LA 70505.

Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/LouisianaAid.

Acadiana Group
Community Outreach Coordinator: Amélie Desormeaux
Fundraising: Karen Alford, Amélie Desormeaux
Immigrant Perspective: Martha X (contact via Karen Alford)
Interpretation: Leslie Bary (French, Portuguese, Spanish), Nell Hahn (Spanish)
Legal Support Information (BorderX, Fraihat): Nell Hahn
Pen Pal Project: Michelle MacFadyen, Carol Stubbs
Treasurers: Leslie Bary (to May 14, 2021), Nell Hahn
Webmistress: Leslie Bary (to December 31, 2021)

Central Louisiana Group
Legislative Outreach Coordinator: Leslie Elliot Smith
Joy Owensby

Natchez Network
Bill Barksdale [moving]
Elisabeth Grant-Gibson

Shreveport-Bossier Group
Frances Kelley

Transportation Network Statewide
Karen Alford (Eunice), Bill Barksdale (Natchez) [moved], Leslie Bary (Lafayette), Frances Kelley (Shreveport), Mara Loeb (Monroe), Michelle MacFadyen* (*Coordinator; Lafayette), Lara Nochomovitz (Jena), Joy Owensby (Alexandria)