What is happening to immigrants at the border is shocking. Inhumane. It seems worse now because it is, much worse. What is happening to children is especially bad. It needs to change now! There are things that everyone can do to make sure this changes. Below are ways to help and information to call your representatives (more than once) to share with them why this is so upsetting.
Show compassion to others and teach your own families that we care about each other.
1. Call your representatives
If you don’t know what number to call, you can either call the US Capitol switchboard or punch your info into callmycongress.com and get the direct phone numbers.
Just tell the congressional staffer who picks up the phone that you want to see soap, toothbrushes and beds for detained children right now.
Consider saving those direct numbers in your phone so that you can follow up with more calls in the future.
2. Use digital tools and data
The internet hasn’t just given us the ability to connect with our politicians, it has given us unprecedented access to information and science, and in this case, the science is pretty simple: Handwashing is “a win for everyone”, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Study after study after study backs the CDC up. Handwashing can keep kids alive by preventing everything from diarrhea to the flu.
The scientists at the CDC say that “washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them.
So it is vital for these kids to have access to hygiene and sanitation as influenza is common in the detention centers.
The same challenges that make it hard to control communicable disease transmission and outbreaks in jails and prisons—high turnover rates of staff and the detained, a population vulnerable to illness—put these children at risk, and while the New York Times reports some guards at the detention facilities have taken to wearing paper masks to keep them from catching what the kids have, it is totally possible that someone who works around these detained kids will get sick, and that could put a population outside of the facility at risk.
Giving detained people access to sanitation should be a public health priority.
3. Keep talking about this + encourage others to make their own calls
Now, the conversation has shifted to sanitation, but it’s important to remember that soap, toothbrushes and showers aren’t all these kids are missing—they’re missing their families, too. Children continue to be separated from their families, something that will impact them for the rest of their lives, whether those lives happen in America or elsewhere.
There are a lot of debates going on about how to solve this crisis, but one thing that many groups,from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to the American Academy of Pediatrics, agree on is that these facilities were not designed to house kids.
Something’s got to change, and the more people that are calling their reps, the better.
Tell your friends that you’re talking to your representatives about this and ask them to call, too. A lot of people have never called a politician’s office before, so let those in your circle know about how the ACLU will route their call and pass on the short script for those who get flustered on the phone.
4. Donate to organizations that will help migrant families
American Immigration Council: This organization gets on the ground at detention centers helping families, documenting conditions of detention and bringing lawsuits to challenge them.
Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project: Provides “emergency legal aid to refugee families”.
Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services: Provides “free and low cost immigration services”.
Families Belong Together: Is a group effort that “includes nearly 250 organizations representing Americans from all backgrounds who have joined together to fight family separation and promote dignity, unity, and compassion for all children and families.
Justice for Our Neighbors: Provides low-income families with “affordable, high quality immigration legal services”.
Kids In Need of Defense: According to its website, KIND “partners with major law firms, corporations, law schools, and bar associations to create a nationwide pro bono network to represent unaccompanied children through their immigration proceedings.”
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center: States it is “dedicated to serving the legal needs of low-income immigrants, including refugees, victims of crime, and families seeking reunification.”
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: The faith-based organization “works with refugees, children, and migrants to ensure they are protected and welcomed into local communities throughout the United States.”
South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR): A joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, ProBAR “is a national effort to provide pro bono legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas by the United States government. “
Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES): A non-profit that aims to reunite families and help kids feel safe, this Texas-based nonprofit aims to “directly fund the bond necessary to get parents out of detention and reunited with their children while awaiting court proceedings” and “ensure legal representation for EVERY child in Texas’ immigration courts.”
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights: Provides independent Child Advocates to stand up for unaccompanied immigrant children and “champion the child’s best interests”.
5. Teach our children kindness and compassion
We can’t change what has already happened, but we can teach our children to change the future.
By instilling empathy, compassion and kindness in the next generation we are planting the seeds for a kinder world, and those seeds desperately need to be planted.
Caring for these children is not a partisan issue, it’s an issue many parents all over the political spectrum are grappling with. Many have differing opinions about how to resolve the issues at the root of this problem, but many parents can agree that if their child was in this position they would want them to be shown some kindness.
As much as many parents would love to scoop these children up, draw them a bubble bath and find them a safe, warm place to sleep, we can’t. But we can do those things for our own children, and in doing so we will teach them about love and kindness.
And hopefully, future generations will not be having the conversations.
source: source: Motherly