Many said he wouldn’t do it, that candidate Trump’s pledge to deport millions of undocumented immigrants was just a campaign slogan. But you’ve heard the news this week: the Trump administration has outlined the federal government’s plan to do exactly that.

Here’s a quick read explaining the new policies. But read it later. Please stay with me for now:

No reporter or policy wonk can tell you about the real effects of the new immigration policies in the lives of real people right here in Nashville like Karla Ruiz can. Families like hers are already bearing the full brunt of Trump’s indiscriminate deportation plan.

Just a few weeks ago, we were encouraging and coaching Karla to take that giant step of leaving our culinary incubator to open her own restaurant. We had even been scouting a couple of promising locations with her.

As you saw in the video, now, our conversations have changed from aspirations and dreams to dashed hopes and fear of what may come. Now we talk about making sure she is prepared for the worst and has a Family Plan in case she is detained and deported.

That’s what we’ve been working on around the clock lately: the Protecting Our Families initiative to make sure families like Karla’s have individualized help to make a Family Plan and assist them in compiling, translating and notarizing the mindboggling list of essential documents. We are also educating families about their rights, about avoiding fraud from unscrupulous businesses that prey on vulnerable people, and about taking care of their mental health in these stressful, trying times.

We are working harder than ever. But the new reality clearly demands additional human capacity and resources. Many volunteers have already responded to our call for help, and we are beyond grateful.

What else do we need?

•At Conexión Américas, we need more staff time to reach more families with one-on-one support to help them prepare a Family Plan to ensure children are taken care of in case their parents are detained and deported.

•Our partners at Family & Children’s Service need an additional bicultural counselor here at Casa Azafrán to respond to the increased anxiety and depression among children and adults created by the current environment of fear.

We need your help protecting our families.

We need to raise $100,000 for Conexión Américas and Family & Children’s Service to be able to expand our capacity as soon as possible.

I know we have asked for your support already. And you may have sent us a generous contribution recently. I wouldn’t be asking for your support at this time if the need in front of us weren’t that great, uprecedented and challenging.

Please consider a monthly recurring contribution. Donate here.

Thank you in advance for supporting our families. Please keep raising your heart and raising your voice to keep families together and to fulfill the promise of an #INDIVISIBLE nation that celebrates the roots and possibilities of all its people.


Renata Soto

Co-founder and Executive Director

P.S. Karla is one story among too many of people living in extreme fear and putting their dreams on hold. Please join our #INDIVISIBLE campaign, if you haven’t already, and contact US Senators Alexander and Corker and your US representative and ask them to stand for humane, common sense immigration policies that truly fix our broken immigration system. Please consider donating today so Conexión Américas and Family & Children’s Service have the resources to support families who need us now more than ever.