Despite President Trump having stated last week that he would end the forced separation of children from undocumented parents, the border crisis remains a crucial issue as more than 2000 children have yet to be reunited with their families. Outrage and protests have ensued since footage of ‘federal shelters’
concentration camps along the U.S./Mexico border has been released. No one knows when or if these children will be reunited with their families as Trump’s executive order does not address the children who have already been separated.
As more coverage of the detainment camps is released, critics from all sides are bringing attention to the unjust and inhumane conditions of the camps. The Washington Post detailed the severity of the situation in a recent article:
The children have been through hell. They are babies who were carried across rivers and toddlers who rode for hours in trucks and buses and older kids who were told that a better place was just beyond the horizon.
And now they live and wait in unfamiliar places: big American suburban houses where no one speaks their language; a locked shelter on a dusty road where they spend little time outside; a converted Walmart where each morning they are required to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, in English, to the country that holds them apart from their parents.
It is a horrific situation. As our mission is to help African immigrants succeed in the U.S and maintain strong ties with the immigrant community, USAIG is especially saddened and appalled by what is happening. But there are ways that we can help. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of ways that you too can help immigrant families affected by the crisis.
1. Call Your State Representative
Today is #worldrefugeeday. Don't look away. . Of the over 22 million people who have been forced to flee their homes worldwide, nearly half are children. . It doesn't take a great amout of empathy to understand what horror these children are facing every day. The only consolation in the hell they are living is a loving parent. . Of all the places in the world that refugee and migrant children flee to, only one is ripping away their only lifeline, their only comfort, the only thing they have in the world: their parents. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Image 1: Family members, reunited after fleeing Kosovo, pass 2-year-old Agim Shala through the barbed wire fence into the hands of his grandparents at a camp in Albania. 3 March, 1999. Credit: Carol Guzy/The Washington Post/Getty Images ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Image 2: A Syrian refugee boy stands in front of his family tent at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants next to the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. 30 November, 2017. Credit: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Image 3: Migrants face Macedonian police officers blocking their passage from Greece to Macedonia. 21 August, 2015. Credit: Associated Press. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Image 4: A Syrian refugee boy arrives by boat on the island of Lesbos, Greece. Credit: Andrew McConnell/UNHCR ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Image 5: A Rohingya refugee mother and child fleeing Myanmar for Bangladesh. 2017. Credit: Adam Dean/UNHCR. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Image 6: A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched by Border Control agents in the Rio Grande Valley. June, 2018. Credit: John Moore/Getty. . . . . . #refugeecrisis #rohingya #familyseparation #bordercrisis
The American Civil Liberties Union has come up with a convenient form to help you locate your state representatives number in a matter of minutes. And if you don’t what to say? The ACLU has also provided a short script that you can use to tell your representative that you will not stand with the policy of forcibly separating immigrant children from their parents.
“Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and my zip code is [YOUR ZIP]. I’m urging the Senator to denounce Trump’s family separation policy and use all of Congress’ authority to stop it.”
2. Together Rising
Together Rising is a non-profit organization funding projects to help get immigrant children legal representation. Most recently, they funded the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project “for an angel team of four lawyers and 3 legal assistants to represent children detained in Arizona detention centers and their families; and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights in order to cover the costs of a lawyer and social worker who will be operating around the country and on the border to provide advocacy and healing to unaccompanied, detained children.” You can donate through their website.
3. American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties has long been committed to protecting immigrant rights and ensuring that immigrants also know their rights. The organization is currently raising funds to hire lawyers to defend children separated from their families. You can donate here.
4. Asylum Advocacy
One of the most disturbing facts about the border crisis is that asylum seekers who have fled countries of political instability and violence are also being deported. Asylum advocacy is an organization working to prevent refugees along the border from being deported, and you can donate and even sign up to volunteer with them here.
5. Texas Civil Rights Project
Their Twitter bio states, “We are Texas lawyers for Texas communities, boldly serving the movement for equality and justice in and out of the courts.” The Texas Civil Rights Project is currently helping five families who have been separated from their children, and they are also in need of translators with paralegal experience to assist in the legal process. Even if you are unable to directly volunteer with them, you can donate and help fund lawyers for immigrant children along the border here.