Arab American Institute Foundation is delighted to announce that RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, will be the recipient of the 2019 Award for Institutional Excellence at the 21st annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala on May 2, 2019. We are proud to recognize the organization’s tremendous commitment to community and social justice, as represented by RAICES decades of work supporting immigrants, asylum seekers, migrants, and refugees. 

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From RAICES’ early days in the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s to its role today as the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas, RAICES has consistently fought to serve humanity while also representing the ideal of what America should be - a beacon of hope. With a unique model of daily immigration practice, combined with a commitment to advocacy, RAICES is stepping in where others cannot and making a real difference for thousands of families.

Even as the fabric of our nation is threatened by a surge in anti-immigrant sentiment, their impressive work not only continues, it is expanding. 

In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to their clients. In fact, RAICES has leaned into the challenge of supporting immigrants in the face of bigotry, meeting it head on, raising awareness, fighting for what is right, and literally saving the lives of children and their families. This is particularly true when it comes to family separation. 

For thirty years, RAICES has worked at every stage of the immigration process to keep families together.

Their offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas, are on the frontlines in the heated debate about immigration and immigrants. Now that our nation is facing an escalated crisis of forced family separation—one that threatens the human rights of children and parents alike—RAICES is again leading the way with stepped up services, advocacy, and outreach.   

RAICES commitment to be of service to those who need it most embodies all that Gibran himself saw in this country. RAICES leadership and vision have driven them to pursue justice, fairness, and safety for the most vulnerable, which is why we are so honored to recognize their contributions at our annual celebration of the Spirit of Humanity.