An immigration policy implemented by the administration of President Donald Trump in May has led to an significant increase in migrant children being separated from their families.
The “no tolerance policy” attempts to crack down on illegal boarder crossings and allows border security agents in the Southwest to separate children of immigrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally, according to CBS News.
The Associated Press reported that, according to government statistics, the police has separated nearly 2,000 children from their families, placing them in detention centers and shelters.
Organizations like National Domestic Workers Alliance and Families Belong Together have hosted events across the country to raise awareness and call for aid to families who have been separated.
Contact elected representatives
Advocates on this issue can find out who represents your state and contact them to express disapproval of the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border. A sample script is at the American Civil Liberties Union website. and says, “Hi, my name is (your name) and my zip code is (your zip code). I’m urging the Senator to denounce Trump’s family separation policy and use all of Congress' authority to stop it.”
Find the contact information for Congress at Senate.gov and House.gov.
Write to media outlets
Vicki Gaubeca, the director of Southern Border Communities Coalition, told The Cut that writing op-ed pieces and letters to the editor at media outlets can raise awareness.
“If you think about what the Republican Party has stood for, it’s family values and protecting children, so it seems contradictory that they’re engaging in this enforcement activity of ripping kids from their families,” she said. “It’s really troubling to see that an administration can be so callous. It’s beyond the pale.”
Volunteer and donate
According to the website of U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., the detention centers and shelters holding the unaccompanied children do not allow volunteers, but services can be provided in the form of pro bono legal services, as a foster care parent and in monetary donations.
Some organizations that take donations and volunteers in support of the children are below.
- The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights: Works to have children in immigration proceedings seen as children, keeping their best interests in the process.
- RAICES: The Refugee Aid Project by community activists in South Texas works to provide free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas. Volunteer areas include outreach, sanctuary, advocacy and legal clinics.
- Catholic Charities: Catholic Charities’ St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance provides services to those who are not able to get legal representation. pro bono attorneys sought for litigation and administrative cases. Other volunteer opportunities include translating and working on administrative office tasks. The organization also provides foster care services and counseling.
- The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project: Works to prevent wrongful deportations for those fleeing violence. Opportunities include fundraisers, volunteering, internships and careers.
- Kids In Need Of Defense: KIND works to provide legal representation for children in immigration court. Donations support training and outreach efforts. Volunteers include pro bono attorneys.