On June 14 it was reported that the Trump administration was building “tent cities” to house immigrant children and parents. This is part of the administrations “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S. and Mexico border.
It’s reported that migrant children who are being held by the government without their parents surged by 20% when the policy was implemented in May. Within six weeks nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents and are being held in these camps.
Recently audio of children crying because they were separated from their parents was posted. In the background, you can hear a border patrol employee joking about the noises the 10 Central American children are making sounds like an orchestra.
President Trump says he will be “signing something” to help immigrant families and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says she will draft an action to help keep families together. But still, the treatment of immigrants seeking asylum is deplorable, and there is a lot that can be done to help these children and their families.
It’s easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed by the inhumanity of this administration, but there are actions you can take to help benefit these children and their parents right now.
1. Donate To The Organizations Taking Action
Donating is an easy way to help benefit the kids and their parents. Below is a list of a few organizations you can donate to, for more donation options you can check out a full list from Slate here.
Refugee And Immigrant Center For Education And Legal Services
RAICES is currently raising money to help legally represent kids in Texas who are released and unaccompanied and to pay for migrant parents’ immigration bond. “Parents separated from their children at the border (and other immigrants placed in detention) can’t get released from ICE custody to reunite with their families until they pay the full amount of their immigration bond,” according to the organization.
Their fundraiser has gone viral on Facebook becoming the largest Facebook fundraiser ever. Their initial goal was to raise $1,500 and now they have raised well over $9.5 million and have a new goal of raising $11 million. You can donate here.
Kids In Need Of Defense
KIND helps defend and protect children in immigration court. They make sure that each child receives the best legal representation. Donating can help provide social services, mental health counseling, interviews with volunteer attorney’s, training for pro bono attorneys and violence protection workshops for girls. You can donate here.
American Bar Association’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy
The ABA CILA is another organization helping provide legal services to immigrant children in Houston, Texas. You can donate here.
Young Center For Immigrant Children’s Rights
The Young Center is a human rights organization advocating for the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children. They provide legal guidance and personal guidance. They have a volunteer program so you can help advocate for an immigrant child. You can donate here.
2. Call Your Senator
Calling your senator seems daunting, but there are concentration camps in America, so pick up the phone. The ACLU has set up a system where you just enter your email, zip code and phone number and they will connect you to your senator for you. They also have a script prepared for you, so you don’t even have to think twice about what to say. If you want to create your own script, ACLU has many resources about the legality of family separation.
5 Calls also has multiple scripts prepared for specific immigrant issues. If you want to demand that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned, they got you. If you want to oppose anti-immigration hate group leader, Ron Mortensen being appointed to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and MIgration, they got you.
Make the calls. It’s crucial that the people responsible are held accountable.
3. Protest The Detention Of Immigrants
Families Belong Together has organized a mass protest on June 30 to oppose the inhumane treatment of kids and immigrants at the border. There are rallies and marches planned for all over the country. If you don’t see an event happening in your area, you can create one.
Volunteer at one of the organizations that are helping immigrants. This is a great way of helping if you don’t have the money to afford to donate.
American Immigration Lawyers Association
The AILA in partner with the Immigration Justice Campaign offers volunteer opportunities so you can help asylum seekers. Even if you’re not a lawyer, you can still help the AILA protect immigrants.
On top of providing legal help, RAICES is also looking for volunteers.
Texas Civil Rights Project
The Texas Civil Rights Project legally advocates and helps Texans. Right now they are fighting on behalf of the parents who have been separated from their children at the border. If you live in Texas, they are looking for volunteers to help organize their efforts.
Young Center For Immigrant Children’s Rights
Volunteer as a Child Advocate for an unaccompanied immigrant child through The Young Center. There are centers in Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, Harlingen and Chicago. You must be 21 years or older and if you’re bilingual it’s a plus.
5. Speak Up
Remaining silent in moments of inhumanity like this means you are siding with the oppressor. Encourage your friends and family to call their representatives, donate and show up to protests. A simple retweet with information on how to help can be wildly beneficial. Don’t stay silent on social media or in your daily life on this issue.
More information about the separation of families at the border can be found here.