You’ve probably head that the Trump Administration is separating children from their parents at the US/Mexico border. These children and infants are ripped from their asylum seeking parents and held in old warehouses, box stores, and yes, in some instances, cages. This is unethical, immoral, evil, and entirely unnecessary.
There is no law stipulating that families must be separated as soon as they cross the border; the law in place states that adults cannot have their children housed with them whilst facing criminal prosecution. In April, Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would operate under a “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal immigration, so everyone attempting to cross the border illegally is now referred for federal prosecution, and thus separated from their children (see this article for an explanation on how this policy differs from previous administrations). These people have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and left their countries in search of a better, safer life for themselves and their children. Something has to be done. If you don’t know the ins and outs of what’s happening, here is a great run-down.
“But Haley, what can I do? I live 4000+ miles from the Texas border, aren’t my thoughts and prayers enough.”
Thoughts and prayers are NEVER enough.
Read on, my friend.
Donate Your Money
Any amount. £5 even. That’s your morning coffee. That’s parking if you go shopping for a few hours on Saturday. There are two organisations doing the most work for this situation: The ACLU, who has lawyers on the ground working to help these people and file appropriate complaints, and RAICES (their actual website is down, but here is a link to donate to their Family Reunification Fund), which is raising money to pay immigration bonds. Bonds are typically set in the region of $5k-10k–if they don’t pay their immigration bond, they don’t get their children back.
I reiterate: these people have nothing.
US Citizen Living Abroad?
If you are an American citizen living abroad: write your elected representatives. This takes literally two seconds. Don’t know who your representatives are? Get your life right.
No matter your thoughts on the complexities of immigration policy, we HAVE to have empathy and compassion for these people. The only thing that makes us any different than these asylum-seekers is that we were lucky enough to be born in one of the richest, safest countries in the world.
Please, use your privilege to make a difference. We cannot sit idly by while these families are separated.
Here’s a list of organizations that are mobilising to help immigrant children separated from their families.
At the time this article was written, it was being speculated that the Trump administration was drafting an executive action to stop the further separation of migrant families. This is concrete proof that activism and protest can be effective. However, the families who have already been separated still need our help, and the organisations who are attempting to reunite these families still very much need our donations and support.
Main image – A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. Read the story on CBS News here. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)