Mission Statement

First Friends of NJ and NY upholds the inherent dignity and humanity of detained immigrants and asylum seekers. We provide compassion and hope through volunteer visitation, resettlement assistance and advocacy.

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We invite others to get involved and offer many volunteer opportunities including our bi-annual Stamp Out Despair campaigns. We sponsor draw attention to the unjust treatment of immigrant detainees in detention and collaborate with partner organizations in the struggle for human rights and advocate nationally for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). We sponsor three events annually: an Ash Wednesday vigil in early spring, a summer event around World Refugee Day, and a fall protest on Columbus day weekend. Staff and Interns and Trustees are available to speak to groups interested in learning more about immigrant detention. For more information visit our Speaker's Bureau page.


We oppose detention of asylum seekers and immigrant detainees who pose no threat to society. We also work for improved conditions that respect the human dignity of all detainees. We experience the injustice of the broken immigration system and see the damage done to families and communities by enforcement only policy. Our work includes dialogue with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), those who manage detention facilities, legislators and fellow citizens; and we advocate for permanent changes in our public policy.


Our unique mission is that we visit immigrant detainees at the Elizabeth Detention Center (EDC), the Hudson County Correctional Center (HCCC), the Bergen County Jail (BCJ) and at Essex County Correctional Center-Delaney Hall (DH). We make personal contact with detainees to assure them that their dignity is respected and to assure they have a channel for contacting those outside of the detention system. Training and access for visiting are provided by staff.  New visitors are welcome to join us.


We also provide additional opportunities to make the lives of detainees more bearable. Stamp Out Despair is our twice a year program to collect writing materials for detainees. We also offer a Pen Pal Program, and welcome those able to help with Detainee Assitance.

Support Our Work

We invite others to join us by supporting our work financially. First Friends NJ NY is a non-sectarian, 501-(c)(3) corporation under the I.R.S. tax code. All donations are tax deductible. Donations for detainee assistance are also accepted. We also welcome support by volunteers, as visitors and participants in our events and we offer a speakers bureau to share our message with others.


Contact us. Share your concerns and experiences, joins us in our struggle to offer dignity to immigrants.

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Designed by: jwinkelried

First Friends NJ NY

53 So. Hackensack Ave., Kearny, NJ 07032


Email: info@firstfriendsnjny.org


Telephone: (908) 965-0455