The recent Trump administration policy that has separated immigrant children from their families at the border is a humanitarian crisis that has rightfully faced global opposition, including from all five living First Ladies. As of yesterday afternoon, President Trump signed an executive order to stop the policy, but the more than 2,300 children separated from their parents still need help being reunited with their families and assistance in seeking asylum.
Luis Gutierrez, congressman from Illinois, recently said, “I cannot think of an act that is more cruel and more inhumane that to rip a child from the arms of the mother. A mother who comes fleeing systematic torture, rape, death, gang violence. The cartels run her neighborhood, run her nation and her government does not, will not, cannot protect her … She comes to the United States, not illegally, but following one of the greatest traditions in our country, to seek asylum, from death and from torture. We welcome her and her children to this country.”
We also know that adverse experiences like this can have a lasting impact on a child’s development, as highlighted by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, founder and CEO of Center for Youth Wellness, at the Ounce of Prevention Fund’s recent It’s Good Business to Invest in Young Children Annual Luncheon. When “children are subjected to high doses of adversity, it changes their developmental trajectory,” the organization writes.
If you want to help the cause but find yourself at a loss as to how to lend your support, here are some ways to help both locally and nationally:
It only takes a few minutes to call your local congress people and make your voice heard.
- Tammy Duckworth 202-224-2854
- Richard Durbin 202-224-2152
- Dianne Feinstein 202-224-3841
- Kamala Harris 202-224-3553
You can search your representatives by zip code here or call the US Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and they will connect you to your Senator or Representative.
Your message can be short and brief. Here is a script below:
“Hi, my name is [name] and I’m calling from [city], zip code [xxxxx]. I want to urge [senator/representative name] to stand up for immigrant rights, help the detained children be reunited with their families, and stop the policy of separating children from their parents at the border. Thank you.”
Urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the Keep Families Together Act (H.R. 6135 / S.3036) to protect children at our borders.
National Organizations that work directly with immigrants at the border:
- UNICEF USA
- The Florence Project
- Texas Civil Rights Project
- Baby2Baby & Kids in Need of Defense Gift Registry (they are working together to collect basic essentials and in-need items for immigrant children)
Local organizations that support immigrants:
Marches are in the planning stages. View more details at Families Belong Together.
More from Make It Better:
- Easy Ways You Can Join the Fight to End World Hunger
- What Bay Area Women Are Doing to Create Social Impact
- Serena & Lily Co-Founder Lily Kanter Launches Boon Supply Co.
Macaire Douglas lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Share Our Spare, a local nonprofit that collects goods for children in need.