Since the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy took effect this past April, thousands of children have been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Last week, in response to weeks of protest, Trump signed an executive order that appears to end family separation, but in fact detains children along with their parents, fails to account for already separated families, and outlines no plan for currently detained children if and when their parents are prosecuted and deported. The horrific stories of separation and neglect that have been reported in the media illustrate why an E.R. physician treating recently separated toddlers would say, “I see a lot of child-abuse cases,” and “it really does, truly, feel like government-mandated child abuse.”
What you can do to help:
A few new bills are in different stages of review by members of Congress, and you can call your representatives to ask them to cosponsor bills in support of keeping families together and push back against bills that harm immigrant communities. The ACLU also makes calling your representatives easy by connecting your call & providing scripts for exactly what to say. You can also contact ICE by writing them here or calling them at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. Register complaints with the Department of Homeland Security here or by calling 1-202-401-1474. Call the Department of Justice comment line at 1-202-353-1555, and tell them how you feel about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ zero-tolerance policy. Call the United Nations at 1-212-963-1234 to urge them to intervene.
If you are able to donate money, here are 14 organizations fighting on behalf of families at the border. The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a legal defense fund providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant families and refugees in Texas.
Register to vote, learn about upcoming elections, and cast your ballot to make your voice heard. (Even if you’re not yet 18, some states allow pre-registration, which means you can sign up early and be automatically registered to vote on your 18th birthday. Find out more here.)
Rallies are being organized across the country for June 30, and you can sign up at #FamiliesBelongTogether to be counted.
A few Rookie illustrators created these posters you can share on social media and use when you march to get the message out loud and clear: Asylum is a right. Families belong together. Use your voice. Register. Vote. Call your reps. End family detention. Reunite kids and families. ♦
By Suzy Exposito. “I’ve been really inspired by the evil eye symbol lately–and the fact that it resonates with people all over the world, from Mexico to Syria. Painted black, white, and blue, the evil eye talisman is universally used to ward off danger and misfortune derived from another’s bad will. This image serves as both a statement and sigil of protection for those seeking refuge from harm in their countries of origin. Asylum is a human right as stated in Article 14 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Download Suzy’s poster here.