8 Things You Can Do to Help Keep Families Together
Keep Families Together, makes sense right? But today, in 2018, in the USA, right now, kids are being taken away from their parents at the border. Yesterday, audio was released by ProPublica that showed how terrified these children are. It also showed border patrol agents mocking these very vulnerable children. What is happening at the border is disgusting. It is inhumane. It shouldn’t be happening in the 21st century.
A Honduran asylum seeker, 2, and her mother are taken into custody by federal agents near the US-Mexico border. They had just crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico and were to be transported to a US Customs and Border Protection processing center. The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for undocumented immigrants calls for the separation of parents and children while their cases for political asylum are adjudicated, a process that can take months – or years. As a father myself, this photograph was especially difficult for me to take. It is one from a series i took while on a ride-along with the Border Patrol in Texas’ Río Grande Valley. #gettyimages #undocumented #gettyimagesnews
If this doesn’t move your heart, make you sad, and make you outraged– then you have a problem. (no heart, no conscience, no soul, take your pick).
You’re either OK with children being separated from their mothers/fathers, or you’re not. There’s really only one right answer here. and it’s not the one that the government is peddling.
If you’re still trying to say this is ok because they are “breaking the law” — well you’re wrong. THE LAW doesn’t state that families have to be separated. The LAW states that a person who is seeking asylum should go to a port of entry and ask for asylum. You can’t ask for asylum by showing up to a consulate in a foreign country, that’s not the way it works.
Let’s be REAL: This is simply something that this racist administration is doing because the kids and families coming to the border are Hispanic, brown and poor. They want you to believe that their lives are worth less than your lives. And the rhetoric is succeeding, because people are actually falling for this narrative.
For the Christians who support this sick and racist administration, (sessions being one of them, and enforcing them) a few questions:
Have you read the Bible? This passage is one of my favorites: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.” Leviticus 19:33
DYK? Mary, Joseph and Jesus were literally refugees.
Jesus said “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, […] “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? […] When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40)
Let me be clear, There’s NO GRAY AREA. This is BLACK and WHITE. WRONG AND RIGHT. Taking away toddlers, 5, 6 year olds, even older kids is WRONG. It’s not only wrong on moral and ethical levels, it will leave devastating effects on these children’s lives- This toxic stress will have huge impacts on their development, growth and livelihood. You can read more here about the social emotional health on these children here.
The parents that are trekking through deserts, rivers, extreme heat, risking their lives and their kids’ lives to reach a safer land– no parent would do that to their children if they saw a better way. Desperate parents do that. They are fleeing extreme violence, violence that many of us, living privileged first world lives, are incapable of thinking about or even imagining that these conditions really exist.
For anyone on the fence, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, for a minute if you can- put your privilege aside and imagine if tomorrow- you had to flee with your kids due to imminent danger. Would you not risk it all to try to get to a safer place? OF COURSE YOU WOULD. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT PARENTS DO. They will literally jump through fire to save their kids. If you can’t even feel a tiny bit of empathy for these human beings, then as I said before, you literally are missing a heart, a soul, a conscience.
MAKE NOISE, USE YOUR VOICE. DON’T LET HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF.
Here are 8 things you can do to help end family separation, and #KeepFamiliesTogether:
1. Call or TEXT your Senators today!
☎ Capitol switchboard: 1 (202) 224-3121 ☎
📱Don’t like the phone? No problem! Text “resist” to 50409. 📱
SCRIPT: I’m calling to ask that [SEN NAME] support S. 3036, the Keep Families Together Act, to stop the separation of immigrant families at the U.S. border. This practice is immoral and unnecessarily harms innocent children. It must be stopped by Congress immediately
2. Tweet your senators.
You can find your senators on Twitter here.
Here are some sample tweets:
Hey [SENATOR] separating children from parents is WRONG! Please support #KeepingFamiliesTogetherAct. Separating children will cause irreparable harm to kids. Do your job!
3. DONATE, DONATE, DONATE, to these awesome organizations.
You can donate through this link and pick one of numerous organizations doing important work at the border. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/border-families-cm
- Together Rising
- Defending Vulnerable Populations Project
- CASA in Action
- Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
- Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
- Al Otro Lado
- The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project
- Innovation Law Lab
- Immigration Justice Campaign
You can do this RIGHT NOW from your phone or computer. Sacred Heart is helping refugees in Texas. The refugees coming in have nothing but the clothes on their back. They need basic items like underwear, shoes, razors, deodorants. Those things we take for granted but that are so necessary!
5. Sign these petitions.
Separating Families is INHUMANE => Sign the ACLU’s petition here.
6. Write postcard writing campaign/fundraiser: #Postcards4Families
If you post a picture on social media using #Postcards4Families, $5 will be donated to RAICES (https://www.raicestexas.org/), which provides free/low-cost legal services to immigrant children, parents, families, and refugees in Texas. You can also simply make a donation using this link.
This is a great activity to do with children. You can send the postcards to the following addresses/people:
People who can stop this with one phone call:
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
This person is physically enabling the separations to happen by carrying out orders:
Assistant Secretary David A. Hansell
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C ST SW
Washington DC 20201
7. Hold a local fundraiser in your community!
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re not in Texas, but elsewhere. And you may feel helpless. You can create a fundraiser in your own community, and use the money raised to support an organization like KIND, RAICES or the ACLU.
8. Become a child advocate.
You can do this via The Young Center. They need advocates in the following cities:
Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, Harlingen, Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York, or Washington, D.C.
They need volunteers to be interpreters, advocates must be at least 21 years old. They need bilingual volunteers who speak Spanish.
In Chicago, they need volunteers who speak Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Romanian and other languages.