Some of you will remember a post I reblogged a few days ago from Gronda regarding immigrant children being forcibly taken from their parents as they attempt to cross the southern border to seek asylum. Below is an audio obtained by ProPublica which has just been released. On it you can hear young children crying and repeatedly screaming “Mami” and “Papa” at one of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities. Almost as disturbing is at one point during the audio, a border patrol agent jokingly says the children are providing an orchestra for them and all they need is a conductor. I want to warn you, if you haven’t heard this yet, it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
What Trump and his administration is doing isn’t just wrong, it’s evil—and I don’t use that word lightly. There has got to be a special place in Hell for the President, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Chief of Staff John Kelly, WH advisor Stephen Miller, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and everyone else who was instrumental in putting this inhumane policy into place and continues to defend it.
Today, despite a groundswell of outrage from Democrats, Republicans, pediatricians, mental health experts, the Administration has doubled down, continuing to blame the Democrats and a longstanding law. They tout how wonderfully the children are being treated. THIS IS A LIE! People staffing these centers aren’t even allowed to physically comfort devastated and terrified children. Other children are having to change the diapers of babies and toddlers. Doctors are warning the stress of being ripped away from their parents can cause these children to suffer long-term repercussions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. And down the road they could be at risk for diabetes, strokes, heart disease and even cancer. I could keep going on about the horrors being inflicted on these innocents, but I’m sure you’ve already heard the stories. So, what can we do to try to stop this? Well, as I said in my reblog the other day the first thing you can do is contact your state governors, senators and representatives, especially if they’re Republican. Let them know that it’s not acceptable to use children as pawns and hostages in a political game of chess. Write letters to the media, in particular, conservative outlets. If you can, attend a local protest. There’s a group, Families Belong Together which is coordinating marches nationally. To see if there’s a planned march near you, click here: https://map.familiesbelong.org/search.php If there aren’t any marches planned that are near you or your physically unable to join one, they’re having a virtual event on Wednesday, June 20th.
Here are some other ways to help.
If you can, there are organizations currently looking for donations to help with legal services for these families. Here are some links:
ACLU – https://action.aclu.org
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) – https://m.facebook.com/donate/490507544717085/
There are also other ways to help. The Texas Civil Rights Project is looking for people who can speak Spanish to translate for families as well as volunteers to assist with the legal intake process. Here’s their website: https://texascivilrightsproject.org
The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) trys to “prevent wrongful deportations by connecting refugee families to community support and emergency legal aid.” They’re currently looking for donations, volunteer attorneys, and interpreters. You can find them at: https://asylumadvocacy.org
The Florence Project and Refugee Rights Project provides free social and legal services to immigrants being detained in Arizona. They’re looking for donations and lawyers willing to take cases pro bono. You can visit them at: https://firrp.org
And finally, sign petitions. All of us can do this and it doesn’t cost a thing. Petitions allow us to make our collective voice heard by politicians as well as asylum seekers and other people living in fear of their families being torn apart by ICE. Here are just a few that you can add your voice to.
While we may feel helpless at times, we have more power than we realize. I hope the links I’ve provided will help give people a voice. We can do something to stop what is happening. We MUST stop what is happening!