Special Edition: Children and Families
On May 7, Jeff Sessions announced a policy change that the Justice Department would do their best to prosecute every adult who crossed the border illegally, even if some of them were legitimate asylum seekers. When a parent was arrested, the children would immediately be taken into custody and “put in foster care or whatever”, as John Kelly said. http://www.businessinsider.com/john-kelly-family-separation-policy-illegal-border-crossing-2018-5 and https://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/trump-administration-separating-parents-and-children-at-border-1242280003606. Trump is blaming Democrats for laws that require separating children from parents, but there is no such law: https://www.factcheck.org/2018/05/trump-blames-own-border-policy-on-democrats/#.WwqzndjxZSg.facebook Here is what we can do:
1. Please write to or email Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen: Email:DHSSecretary@hq.dhs.gov or Snail Mail: Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528 or Twitter: @SecNielsen (for a script, see here)
2. The immigrant-youth led action network United We Dream, which we can follow on Twitter here, is organizing people to call their members of Congress Tuesday through Thursday to demand an end to the violence against families by defunding CBP and ICE. You can find the tool and sign up to make the call here. (for a script, see here)
3. Congress has the oversight power to stop parents and children from being torn apart at the border. Let's demand they use it. 5Calls has scripts and numbers ready for our use at this link.
4. There is plenty to be done in the long run to stop these abuses and create an immigration policy that ensures fairness, justice, decency and dignity for all - including the undocumented. Leading the way in that fight is the undocumented-led organization Cosecha, which mobilizes strikes and direct actions. We can learn more and sign up to get involved here.
5. Contact our Members of Congress (both Senators and one representative). Our messaging can be very brief – these policies and actions are abhorrent and do not represent who we are as a nation.
6. Join the ACLU in asking Kevin K. McAleenan, Commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection to intervene and make safety a priority for these children: https://action.aclu.org/petition/cbp-stop-abusing-children
We can make donations here:
1. The Florence Project whose “mission is to provide free legal and social services to detained adults and unaccompanied children facing immigration removal proceedings in Arizona. Our vision is to ensure that all immigrants facing removal have access to counsel, understand their rights under the law, and are treated fairly and humanely.” http://firrp.org
2. ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/donate-aclu
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kidsattheborderSupport Kids at the Border:
4. Activists on the ground have been fighting for children’s rights in the immigration system for a long time. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) ensure that no child appears in immigration court without high quality legal representation, representing undocumented immigrant and refugee kids in deportation proceedings pro bono. They also advocate for laws, policies and practices that strengthen due process and fairness for kids in the immigration system. We can learn more about them at their website here, donate to them here, and follow them on Twitter to amplify their work here.
There is also an issue of “lost” children who came across the border as unaccompanied minors, that is, without an adult with them. As this story comes to light, it seems that it is questionable if the children are really lost. Here is what happened: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/05/27/the-u-s-lost-track-of-1500-immigrant-children-last-year-heres-why-people-are-outraged-now/?utm_term=.91328732fe83 More information will surface and will be shared.
For more information and even more actions, let’s check out these, too:
https://politicalcharge.org/2018/05/26/wherearethechildren-how-to-help/From Political Charge:
2. From Americans of Conscience Checklist Special issue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yOGv2SrCSkS1PCbgfU5h7Zpf5QVpykQT0duKG8-lMKk/preview
Postcards for America: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LstlRt5oMzYRDAB3jxYemO-Z6LikNd2N2Fftl6vcRo8/editFrom
4. From Cool Mom Picks: https://coolmompicks.com/blog/2018/05/26/abused-missing-immigrant-children-ice-what-you-can-do/