Like many others, I’ve been consistently outraged at the Trump administration’s ongoing dismissal of human lives along our southern border. The federal government’s policies to treat migrants and asylum seekers inhumanely continues to escalate, with the ACLU uncovering even more egregious abuses and conditions in government facilities.
Make no mistake, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Border Patrol have been emboldened by the current administration’s newest policies, ones driven by the view that immigrants and asylum seekers deserve cruelty and punishment. These policies have already led to the tragic deaths of children, have put thousands of others at risk, and continue to abuse thousands of people.
But there are ways to help children, families, and individuals arriving to the border seeking asylum. Here's where to start:
Understand the problem.
Instead of providing an essential humanitarian response to the influx of families and individuals seeking refuge at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration has continued its anti-immigrant agenda by inflicting trauma on people coming to legally seek asylum.
The human tragedies at the border are primarily caused by maliciously engineered policies enacted by the Trump administration. These policies, from zero-tolerance, to family separation, Border Patrol abuses and killings, turnbacks at U.S. points of entry, “Remain in Mexico,” and the deeply troubling conditions at facilities run by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), are all part of a comprehensive and racist attack on migrants and asylum-seekers.
This deterrence-through-cruelty strategy has not only been a total failure, it has resulted in gross human rights violations at our southern border. In less than a year, at least seven children have died while in immigration custody or shortly after being released, while thousands of families and individuals have been traumatized by the barrage of chaos and abuse they encounter at the hands of the U.S. government.
This is unacceptable, and we simply cannot wait any longer to stop these inhumane policies and actions. Here is how you can act today:
Contact your members of Congress.
Call your elected officials urging them to:
- Require the use of alternatives to detention and an immediate end to the horrific conditions in CBP facilities;
- Follow legal obligations to accept and process asylum seekers and others seeking protection, by ending the practice of "metering" and the "Remain in Mexico" policy to ensure people are able to present at ports of entry and are not forced to wait in often dangerous conditions in Mexico;
- Demand that Congress stop funding the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies, including Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol, while further calling for full transparency, accountability, and enhanced oversight of their policies and operations.
Below is a list of organizations in Texas working tirelessly to provide legal help, food and shelter, or bonds to families:
Annunciation House: El Paso-based organization that provides hospitality, advocacy, and education to migrants, refugees, and economically vulnerable people. Help fund their efforts by donating here.
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center: Faith-based organization providing temporary shelter and resources to immigrant families through their Respite Center in the Rio Grande Valley. Visit their Amazon Wishlist to help provide essential food and clothing items to those in need.
Dilley Pro Bono Project: This non-profit, based in Dilley, Texas, aims to provide due process and justice for detained immigrants by offering pro bono legal aid to immigrant mothers and children. Donate to support their work here.
Good Neighbor Settlement Fund: Brownsville-based organization that provides temporary shelter, food, and resources for families in immediate need. Visit their donation page.
Fronterizo Fianza Fund: A community bond (fianza) fund based in El Paso and serving individuals and families in far West Texas and New Mexico. The fund helps those immigrants pay expensive bonds, who would otherwise be detained for months, even years, before trial for inability to pay. Visit their donation page.
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center: An organization providing legal services to low income immigrants including refugees and asylum-seeking parents being separated from their families. Donate to their cause.
La Posada Providencia: Rio Grande Valley-based emergency shelter for men, women, and families who flee to the United States due to political persecution, natural disasters, and other life-threatening conditions in their native countries. Visit their donation page.
Rio Grande Valley Rapid Response: A multi-organization humanitarian effort to welcome, orient, feed, clothe, and otherwise serve immigrants and refugees released en masse by Customs and Border Protection in the Rio Grande Valley. Donate here.
The South Texas Human Rights Center: A community-based center working to prevent migrant deaths through prevention, advocacy, organizing, data collection, and public-education throughout South Texas.
You can also help support the ACLU of Texas and ACLU Border Rights Center’s ongoing work both along the border and in our nation’s capital. Your donation helps fuel our efforts to fight against the Trump administration’s horrific anti-immigrant policies through community organizing, advocacy, policy, and litigation.