“We need to be talking about Jeff Sessions and his role criminalizing parents, and the role of ICE in putting people in detention to begin with. People need to shift from saying keep families together to talking about dismantling ICE.” - Tania Unzueta, an organizer with the immigrant justice group Mijente.
Like you, we're indignant about the human rights violations the current administration is enforcing along the southern border. This week we’ve seen families with children as young as a few months old being separated, detained, and prosecuted in mass trials and heard the rhetoric that they don't deserve to be treated with humanity or concern.
In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the beginning of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. The policy calls for the prosecution of anyone who enters the United States illegally, including asylum seekers who do not come in through the designated ports of entry. This resulted in parents and children being separated at the border and detained in separate facilities, sometimes in different states. Some parents have already been deported without any information about when or if they will see their children again. After political pressure from around the world, the President called a press conference where he boasted about a new executive order to end the separation of families at the border. What we know is that within the executive order there are no plans to release migrants from detention centers. In fact, the order further criminalizes immigrants, holding them indefinitely, separating families, and causing irreparable generational trauma. The “zero tolerance” policy is still in effect and over 2,500 children that have already been separated from their parents may never be reunited.
The inhumane practices by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) didn’t start with this policy change. In May, Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, a 20-year old immigrant from Guatemala was shot and killed by a Texas Border patrol agent when she crossed into Texas. Roxana Hernández, a trans woman from Honduras, died from HIV-related complications after being put in what is known as an “ICE box;” a holding area with freezing temperatures. This enforcement isn’t isolated along the southern border.
In Illinois there have been escalating operations of mass raids. PASO - West Suburban Action Project has received calls from families trying to locate people in any of the seven detention centers around Chicago. Organized Communities Against Deportations are managing an increase in calls from their Family Support Hotline 1-855-435-7693.
Now is not the time to be complacent. We need to continue to fight against these horrible policies. At Crossroads Fund we support groups who are fighting against deportations, detention, criminalization, and the incarceration of Black, brown, and immigrant communities. Here are some organizations to whom you can make a gift and actions you can take.
TAKE ACTION & DONATE TO:
The Fronterizo Fianza Fund is a community bond (fianza) fund run by the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, based in El Paso-Ciudad Juárez. Donate here.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families and refugees. Donate here.
Families Belong Together Chicago March: A coalition of organizations are organizing a mass march on here.. More info
Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) is hosting a teach-in about the Chicago Gang-Database and how it is used as a loophole by the Chicago Police Department to collaborate with ICE. Register here.
Mijente, a national Latinx organization invites people interested in taking direct action, becoming a social media ambassador, fundraising or lending organizational resources to answer their call to action. Info here.
PASO - West Suburban Action Project urges residents to call the governor's office at (217) 782-7355 and ask him to sign all immigrant protection bills coming to his desk in the next couple of weeks, especially Immigration Safe Zones Act (SB35), a bill that directly begins to address this issue in IL.
Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights promotes the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children with due regard to the child’s expressed wishes, according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal law. Sign up to volunteer here.
- 6 things everyone who cares about stopping separation of children must know about Trump’s Executive Order
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