Like many on the border (and elsewhere), I’ve been working day and night to fight President Trump's monstrous and morally irredeemable family separation policy. But in spite of the now daily injustices wrought by the Trump administration, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security, somehow I feel so energized—overwhelmed, but energized. Finally, we are not alone, and we feel everyone’s energy bent towards ending this crisis.
If you want to help migrant children and families, here's where to start:
Understand the problem. The separation of immigrant families is a willfully engineered humanitarian crisis wrought by policies enacted by the Trump Administration. The prosecution of every immigrant, including asylum seekers, for improper entry into our country has already separated families and, after the Executive Order, will jail families together as their immigration and criminal cases proceed. Experts documented that jailing people causes long term harm to both children and adults. There are alternatives to detention, such as the Case Management Program, that treat people humanely, ensure people arrive in court and cost significantly less.
Call your members of Congress. Call your local representatives urging them to:
- Require the use of alternatives to detention instead of expanding facilities to jail immigrant families;
- Prohibit the prosecution of asylum seekers and call for an end to President Trump’s policy of prosecuting all persons for improper entry into the U.S.; and
- Demand meaningful and enhanced oversight of immigration officials.
Donate. Here’s a list of organizations working tirelessly to provide either legal help, food and shelter, or bonds to families:
Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc., an organization providing direct legal services to the immigrant children separated from their families. They need in order of priority:
- Volunteer attorneys and people to help coordinate services for these children; if interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bilingual books, playing cards, crayons and coloring books which they will distribute at the various sites throughout the region. If interested, drop off or mail items to 2400 E. Yandell, El Paso, Texas 79903.
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, an organization legal services to the asylum-seeking parents being separated from their families. They need in order of priority:
- Volunteer attorneys
- Annunciation House, an organization that provides refuge to migrants. They need in order of priority:
- Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, an organization helping pay immigration bonds to free detained people, helping to reunite them with family, avoid bail bond lenders, and improve their chances in immigration court. You can donate to the Fianza Fund here.
- Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), an organization that helps bond out immigrants. Click here to participate.
- The CARA ProBono Project defends refugees from deportation from within the infamous Dilley Family Detention Center. Read about the extraordinary work of these heroes and offer your support.
- Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen responds to needs families in crisis, particularly those who have no food, no security, no access to shower, etc. Donate to the Respite Center here.
- Angry Tias and Abuelas advocate for the dignity/justice of individuals released by Border Patrol or from ICE detention and delivered to bus depots or shelters from Brownsville to McAllen. They also act to meet migrants' health and safety needs. Donate to Angry Tias and Abuelas here.