In Response to the Misleading Mother Jones Article on Libre by Nexus

IMG_0427A recent Mother Jones article by a freelance journalism student about Libre by Nexus is an example of misleading, biased, and sloppy journalism at its worst. Mother Jones’ allegations that Libre by Nexus unfairly profits from immigrants and is in cahoots with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are simply ridiculous, reprehensible, and demonstrably false.

Libre by Nexus is a 100% voluntary program that has helped reunite over 7,000 families with loved ones who otherwise would be sitting in a detention center, deported, or in some cases, much worse. We provide a short-term solution to help people get out of immigration detention. Our clients and their families come to us during times of dire need. As such, we take our responsibility seriously and work arduously to ensure that they fully understand how our program works. To this end, our agreements are in our clients’ native languages and we carefully explain it to them with a certified translator if needed. We are also a compassionate company—from covering healthcare costs to offering scholarships and providing free legal representation, at Libre by Nexus, we go above and beyond for our clients and their families.

We have never returned a client to immigration officials for failing to pay program fees. Further, we do not collaborate with immigration officials unless we are obligated to do so by law pursuant to a valid court order. As Mother Jones fully knew before making this absurd claim in its story, the emails and court records they cited were within the context of legally-mandated communications. If Mother Jones had any interest in writing an objective article, it would have noted this along with the fact that we have challenged such requests in the past to ensure their validity and protect our clients. The fact is that we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year employing dozens of full-time attorneys across the country to prevent the deportations of our clients and their families.

Mother Jones fudged facts, cherry-picked evidence, and even ignored its own reporting to characterize our voluntary monitoring program’s fees as excessive. Libre by Nexus’s $14 per day fees are within the range of the industry averages noted in a Pew study. Yet, to make its case, Mother Jones resorted to apples-to-oranges companions between our services as a private company serving immigrants who have not collateralized their bonds and pose high-flight risks, versus government-subsidized programs serving low-risk criminal defendants. Unlike the latter, Libre by Nexus’s clients are free to work, live, and travel anywhere in the United States. With basic research, Mother Jones would have found that our fees are significantly lower than the $700 per month charged by similar service providers that are cited in a Deloitte case study, and as one can easily see on government websites. Mother Jones also failed to mention that the average length of time that a Libre by Nexus client was enrolled in our voluntary monitoring program over the last year was eight months.

We understand that while our voluntary monitoring program fees fall within the industry average, $14 a day is a lot of money for most families. That is why we have a generous payment forgiveness program that waives over $60,000 per month in fees and conduct quarterly reviews of our clients’ cases. Rather than exploiting one of our client’s situation to sell magazine copies, had Mother Jones simply brought her case to our attention, we would have gladly worked with her to ease her financial stress.

If Mother Jones had even a modicum of journalistic integrity, it would have clearly noted in its article the millions of dollars in fees that Libre by Nexus does not charge its clients when compared to similar programs. For example, Libre by Nexus has never engaged in what is a standard practice among bail bond companies to charge immigrants non-refundable annual premium fees of 20 percent. In such instances, even if an immigrant fully collateralized a $20,000 bond, the bail bond companies would require them to pay $4,000 a year while awaiting their court date. Moreover, while Mother Jones treated our pro-bono legal representation charity as a mere passing reference in its article, it saves our clients thousands of dollars and keeps families together.

While we work tirelessly to serve our clients, we ultimately have to operate within a fundamentally flawed immigration system. In a perfect world, detained immigrants would be returned to their families without bail. While that is not the reality that we live in, it is one that Libre by Nexus and the Nexus Services family of companies strives toward everyday. We have a full-time public policy advocacy team that fights for immigration reform, immigrant rights, and fixing our broken money bail, and criminal justice systems.

It is easy for Mother Jones to speak in platitudes from an ivory tower in San Francisco; it is much harder to be a passionate advocate for immigration reform in rural Virginia, which is what Libre by Nexus does everyday. We take on tough fights and champion the rights of immigrants in difficult political environments. Libre by Nexus is there for its clients, their families, and the diverse communities that we serve throughout the country. For Mother Jones to suggest otherwise is shameful and we will vigorously defend our company from false attacks.

We’re Hiring +100 People!

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In case you missed it, our company is hiring over 100 people for great jobs in the Shenandoah Valley and across the country. Nearly 200 people came to our job fair in Verona, VA yesterday.

If you weren’t able to make it, no worries. The Nexus family of companies, which include Libre by Nexus, Nexus Caridades, and Empower by Nexus, is always looking for talented people with a passion for service and making a difference. Visit our website and write us.

Below is some more information about our growth:

One of the biggest new employers in the Shenandoah Valley is on a big hiring spree. Nexus Services is looking to fill more than 100 positions, with hundreds more jobs on the way next year.

The company has its main headquarters in Verona and among other things, Nexus provides charitable bond to inmates and helps immigrants navigate the legal system. It has already brought 75 jobs to the area and is looking to use a job fair to fill more than 100 new positions. Most of the positions will be based out of Augusta County, but several more involve relocation.

“Across brands and across divisions, it’s about bringing hope to the hopeless and giving voice to people who don’t have it,” said Nexus CEO Mike Donovan.

When workers at Nexus greet a prospective employee, the qualifications they’re looking for might not be what are typically featured in a cover letter.

Read the full story on NBC 29.

Nexus CEO Mike Donovan: Local Police Must Be Accredited

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In case you missed it, I penned an op-ed that was published in The Daily News Record earlier this week about the need for our local law enforcement and jails to be accredited.

Accreditation — the word sounds like something we would want in organizations providing services to our communities. Particularly when those agencies have the responsibility of keeping our communities safe and guarding the constitutional rights of all citizens. Would it surprise you to know that some police agencies and jails in our community are not accredited? Would it surprise you more to learn that some don’t even want to be?

 Click here to read the full op-ed.

We Stand by Sadie Elledge

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Like so many people in our community and around the country, I was outraged when I heard about what happened to Sadie Elledge, the young waitress at Jess’s who instead of a tip, a guest left her a hateful message on a receipt. Racism is unacceptable anywhere in our society, and it’s especially troublesome when it happens around the corner from our office.

At Nexus, we’re all about supporting the Latino community by reuniting families that have been separated by immigration detention and offering them free legal support. We also take a firm stance against hate speech, and are there for its victims in times of need.

Sadie’s story touched out hearts. It’s so important for young people to get a good start on life and know that the world can be a truly beautiful place filled with love and opportunities. Sadie, and people like her, deserve every chance to pursue their dreams.

That’s why we are proud to announce today that we have offered Sadie, and she has accepted, a two-year scholarship at Blue Ridge Community College. I’m sure that Sadie has a bright future ahead of her and we are proud to stand by her.

Nexus CEO Mike Donovan Commends the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office for its Exemplary Performance on I-81

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“I commend the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Donald Smith for their performance in the arrest of a suspect after a heated car chase along Interstate 81. The deputies involved demonstrated incredible care, restraint, and professionalism in discharging their duties—even when their own lives were in danger. As we have witnessed in other cities, such incidents and even routine police stops, can often become violent, which is why we should praise our local officers for their exemplary conduct and civility last night.”

Nexus CEO Mike Donovan Praises the Justice Department’s Decision to Stop Using Private Prisons

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“We can never truly hope to reduce recidivism and welcome offenders back into society as long as they are served by private prisons that depend upon returning clientele to protect their financial bottom lines. Today’s decision by the Justice Department is a significant first step toward moving beyond a system that by design creates a permanent underclass of citizens. I urge the Administration to continue pursuing opportunities for significant criminal justice, money bail, and prison reforms, and hope that this departure from the use of private prisons will be adopted in the context of civil immigration detention as well.”

Breaking Through: The DNC, Harrisonburg’s Resettlement Center, and Nexus

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In this week’s episode of Breaking Through, Evan Ajin, David Briggman, and Jim Hershberger discussed the work of the Harrisonburg Resettlement Center, which has helped thousands of refugees.  In addition, this week’s guests discussed the the Democratic National Convention, which attracted a diverse spectrum of participants.

Breaking Through also examined how Rockingham County residents can fix/pump their septic systems with help from grants given by the Shenandoah Valley Soil Water and Conservation District.

Finally, Mike Donovan discussed Nexus Services’ employee court system.

 

Breaking Through Radio: Racial Tensions, the American “Melting Pot,” and Missing Evidence

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In this week’s broadcast of Breaking Through radio, Mike Donovan discussed the development of racial tensions in society and the importance of developing equality in America today. Following, Donovan, Evan Ajin, and David Briggman shift to express their opinions on individualism, diversity, and America as a “melting pot”. Finally, Briggman and Donovan spoke on Augusta County Sheriff office’s missing evidence scandal.

Mike Donovan’s Op-ed in Fox News Latino

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Nexus CEO Mike Donovan recently penned an op-ed that was featured in Fox News Latino:

We’ve heard the rags-to-riches stories of immigrants who come to this country with very little and make a better life for themselves, achieving the American Dream. These are the profiles of famous Hispanic celebrities, policy makers, business owners and sports heroes who are highlighted in the media and become the benchmark for Latino success in the U.S. But what about the thousands of undocumented immigrants we don’t see in the glossies who are currently in detention, without the privilege to freely live, work, or defend themselves in court?

Click here to read Mike Donovan’s op-ed.