Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is donating a six-bedroom house to El Refugio, an organization that works with detained immigrants and their families, as part of its I.C.E.-focused, ice skating holiday special Christmas on I.C.E.
El Refugio provides visitation to immigrants at Stewart Detention Center in the remote town of Lumpkin, Georgia, as well as free lodging and meals to friends and family members who have been separated by I.C.E. In addition to providing housing for detained immigrants’ families, the new house will also provide lodging for volunteer lawyers and interpreters from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative, which provides free legal representation to immigrants held at Stewart and four other detention centers in Georgia and Louisiana.
More on El Refugio’s work and the donated house will be revealed in Christmas on I.C.E., which airs Wednesday, December 19 at 10:30 PM ET/PT on TBS.
“We are overwhelmed with humility and gratitude,” said JoAnn Weiss, board chair. “Thanks to the radical kindness and awesome generosity of Samantha Bee and the production team at Full Frontal, we will be able to do much more to alleviate the stress and expense families separated by I.C.E. experience when they visit their loved ones at Stewart.”
Stewart Detention Center houses up to 1,800 immigrants in a facility managed by CoreCivic, one of two giant private prison operators in the United States.
For eight years, El Refugio has operated out of a tiny rental house, offering bunk beds to families needing lodging in Lumpkin, which has no hotel, and few lodging options nearby. When the three-bedroom house is full, guests sleep on futons and air mattresses, share the house’s lone bathroom and eat in shifts at the small dining room table.
The new house, which is in the center of town, has 3,100 square feet, 20 beds, a renovated kitchen with new appliances, two bathrooms, and a custom dining room table that seats 20 people.
“When President Stacey Abrams closes this cruel detention center I would gladly move into the house myself, it’s beautiful. #christmaswishes,” said Bee.
Full Frontal is executive-produced by Bee, Jason Jones, Tony Hernandez, Miles Kahn, Alison Camillo, and Pat King.