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.
WHO WE HELP
First Friends of NJ & NY serves immigrants and asylum seekers held in detention in the Elizabeth Detention Center, the Essex County Correctional Facility, the Bergen County Jail and the Hudson County Correction & Rehabilitation Center.
FIRST FRIENDS NEWS & EVENTS
Stay current with our upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and success stories.
Campaign Overview Your donation will help detained immigrants leave the life-threatening conditions in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, where they face a high risk of COVID-19 infection. Even before the pandemic, the NJ-based immigrant…
AVERAGE DAILY DETAINEE POPULATION IN 2019
COVID POSITIVE FRIENDS IN DETENTION CENTERS
IMMIGRANT DETAINEES ENROLLED IN FIRST FRIENDS
TOTAL NUMBER OF DETAINED FRIENDS VISITED
WORDS FROM OUR FRIENDS
Hear directly from both detained friends and our compassionate volunteers.
``I was released (from detention) at 9:00 PM on a cold November night with another detainee from Latin America. Neither of us were dressed for the weather. We found ourselves in an industrial area in a city we didn¹t know anything about and without any idea of where we to go. I was able to call First Friends, which sent a volunteer to pick me up. He brought me a warm coat and took me to his home where I stayed for several days. ``
A FRIEND DETAINEDPOST-RELEASE SERVICES
``I visited a young man, who was afraid of being persecuted for being gay if he got deported back to Ghana where he had been born. I visited him once a week for a couple of months. We got on well, and we became quite close. The day he was granted asylum he called from the courthouse to share the news. Sharing that moment of relief and victory with him felt great.``
A VOLUNTEERVISITING A DETAINEE
`` When I arrived at the airport, I immediately asked for asylum and was handcuffed like a criminal and taken to the Elizabeth detention center. From the moment I stepped through the door was the last I would see or go outside for eight months. I worried, because I couldn¹t tell my family where I was. The food was terrible and only had a vague idea of what would happen to me. Some of the detainees who had been there for a long time were acting in disturbing ways. I felt isolated and alone.``
A DETAINED FRIEND FROM AFRICAQUOTE OF A DETAINED FRIEND ON BEING DETAINED