Right now, there are thousands of children sitting in makeshift jails along the southern Texas border. These children have narrowly escaped brutal violence at home and have made a dangerous journey to the US, seeking a chance at the American dream, just to be forcibly removed from their parents’ care and prevented from seeing them.
This practice is a result of the Trump Administrations adoption of a “zero tolerance policy” for those crossing the border between checkpoints, and has led to some incredibly disturbing discoveries about the abuse and neglect of migrant children.
After seeing a lot of Twitter and Facebook posts today from friends who felt like they were helpless to stop this human rights atrocity, I compiled this list of five things you can do right now to help the children at the border.
Check it out:
If you can afford it, please donate.
All of these funds/non-profits specialize in providing free legal assistance to children and their parents at the border and have begun special projects to help in the effort to reunite families and end family separation:
If you have time, please volunteer. This is especially important to consider if you are bilingual.
If you live in Texas:
The Texas Civil Rights Project is looking for volunteers “who speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistant experience.”
If you live in Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, Harlingen, Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York, or Washington, D.C.:
Become a child advocate for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. As a child advocate you will “spend time with and advocate on behalf of an individual unaccompanied immigrant child while he or she is subject to deportation proceedings.”
Sign this ACLU petition demanding that Homeland Security “end the vicious and inhumane practice of separating children from their families.”
And, as always, it’s never a bad time to throw some money their way too. Their work has the potential to make a huge difference for these children.
RSVP to attend your local “Families Belong Together” Rally on Saturday, June 30th.
There are lots of people out there who say that protesting doesn’t achieve anything or get anything done. They are incorrect, and are merely undercutting the freedom of speech that made this nation the greatest in the world. Protests can and do inspire real change. Just ask the suffragettes and the civil rights marchers.
And while you’re there, take photos. Post them. Use the hashtag #FamiliesBelongTogether. Make your presence known online as much as you do in person.
Call your elected officials.
Many congressmen and women have yet to condemn family separation at the border. RollingStone Magazine reached out to a handful of conservative congressmen, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), all of whom have yet to so much as weigh in on the policy.
Here are the phone numbers to their DC offices. Let them know that this absurd practice must come to an end.
Scalise: (202) 225-3015