7 Things You Can Do to Help Immigrant Families at the Border
Posted June 2018
Families belong together in communities with access to support and resources, not imprisoned indefinitely. From rallying in the streets to supporting legal aid for children, here's how you can speak out against the government’s treatment of immigrant families.
We've witnessed the horrifying and heartbreaking pictures, stories, and sounds coming from the detention centers where immigrant children are being held. When our government embraces policies that imprison children and criminalize families, it is incumbent on all of us to speak out.
In the weeks since the administration implemented their "zero-tolerance" policy at our southern border, more than 2,000 immigrant children have been taken away from their families. This policy expands the shameful practice of family detention and further criminalizes immigrants who are seeking refuge. It also keeps children behind bars indefinitely.
We join our partners in choosing to act and have our voices heard. We hope you'll join us.
Join rallies and events to show your support.
On June 30, thousands of people joined a mass mobilization at more than 700 events across the country. You can keep tabs on future rallies and other events at FamiliesBelongTogether.org.
Call, email, and Tweet your Members of Congress.
Encourage your network to urge their Members of Congress to use Congress’ oversight authority to stop forcibly separating and jailing families—and to vote down the two anti-immigrant bills moving through the House this week.
The ACLU has a call tool specifically for Senators; the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has a call tool that directs calls, tweets, Facebook posts, and emails to all Members of Congress. Herd on the Hill will hand-deliver letters to Congress starting June 19 and continuing “as long as it takes” on the issue of family separation at the border. Individuals can compose letters for delivery on the Herd on the Hill portal that will be printed and brought to the House and Senate.
Raise awareness about this cruel policy.
This issue isn't a political one, it's a moral one. Make your voice heard and share information—and particularly stories—that show the human side of this issue.
Stories to share:
- ‘I Can’t Go Without My Son,’ a Mother Pleaded as She Was Deported to Guatemala, New York Times
- Listen to Children Who’ve Just Been Separated From Their Parents at the Border, ProPublica
- Breaking up families at the border is cruel and un-American, Boston Globe
- 'America is better than this': What a doctor saw in a Texas shelter for migrant children, Washington Post
- Here's how ICE sent children seeking asylum to adult detention centers, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
Sign and circulate a petition to your network.
- The ACLU, MomsRising, MoveOn, and CREDO have started petitions to Department of Homeland Security Sec. Nielsen. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and Change.org also have a new petition out to DHS.
- Define American has a petition to Attorney General Sessions.
- The National Domestic Workers Alliance has a petition to President Trump.
- The Women’s Refugee Commission also has a petition that is easy to sign and share.
Donate to immigrant rights groups
These organizations are on the ground offering assistance and legal aid to children and parents at the border.
If you're a lawyer, sign up to volunteer your services.
We The Action is a digital platform that makes it easy for lawyers to find and volunteer for critical, impactful—and often urgent—legal needs posted by We The Action’s nonprofit partners. WTA currently has several projects available for lawyers who want to help parents and children who have been separated at the border. Many of these projects can be done remotely, with any bar license. Lawyers can sign up to access projects here and nonprofits who need lawyers can sign up here.
Join and support organizations near the border.
If you live near the southwestern border or are willing to travel, you can volunteer with local organizations. Check the Families Belong Together Guide on How to Help for more details.