When Detained Immigrants Are Released, Casa De Paz Is Waiting To Lend A Hand

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Photo: Casa de Paz Sarah Jackson
Sarah Jackson shows thank you notes from previous guests at Casa de Paz.

Before many people arrive at the federal detention facility Aurora, they could have been arrested in places as far flung as the U.S.-Mexico border or New York City. Some detainees end up far from anyone or anywhere they know. When they're released, they may not have money, a phone or a place to go.

Sarah Jackson founded Casa de Paz six years ago to help those newly released immigrants. Casa de Paz’s original mission was to be a place where far-flung family members of detainees could stay and visit a loved one, not unlike how a Ronald McDonald House serves a hospital. But Jackson evolved the mission to suit the need, and last year began renting a home in Aurora to expand Casa de Paz.

The Aurora detention center releases detainees at 6 p.m. on weekdays. Most often they’ve bonded out as they go through the remainder of their immigration proceedings. Every evening at 6 p.m., a volunteer from Casa De Paz arrives at the facility and walks up to the front desk. Sometimes no one leaves with them; other times, five people may walk out. Casa de Paz then provides essentials and shelter until the detainees get on their feet