Why We Do It

Mass incarceration and immigrant criminalization are two facets of the same isssue, and to envision a world beyond bars, we need everyone.  The statistics are scary:

  • The United States has 5% of the worlds population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated population
  • Over 1.5 million people are currently incarcerated, and 53% of current prisoners are parents
  • 7.5 million kids and teens have one or both parents incarcerated
  • Texas holds 10% of the nation’s currently incarcerated individuals, and Austin deports 19 people per week
  • 4.5 million US citizens have an undocumented parent
  • The United States deports approximately 300,000 people per year, and over 25% are parents

Youth Rise knows that when a child or teenager loses a parent to detention or deportation, that they are put on a path towards a statistically bleak future.  Depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendiencies are common, as is self-medication with alcohol and drugs.  Increased instability at home pairs with increased responsbility towards other siblings, and low educational attainment leads to long-term economic instability.

But the families and children that make up these numbers are not just unfortunate statistics.  They are resilient, resourceful, and powerful.  With their voices at the center of organizing and policy-making efforts, we know we can do better.  Join us to stand on the side of justice.  Together, we can end familiy separation.