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Call Your MoCs to Support the Keep Families Together Act, S.3036–June 19, 2018 Edition

Call your MoCs to support Dianne Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act (S.3036), which would stop the Trump administration from separating immigrant families who arrive at American borders. 

 

So! We ran this yesterday, but things are so damn insane that we’re running it again, and adding some extra scripts from Celeste Pewter, who you should be following on Twitter (@Celeste_Pewter. Scroll down for more ways to support her work.)

 

But! If you haven’t yet called your Senators to support Feinstein’s bill, do that first. Since yesterday, all 47 Democrats and both Independents in the Senate confirmed their support for S.3036. As of 7:30 pm on June 18, 2018, no Republicans had joined them.

 

Are your Senators Republican? Then it’s extra-important for them to call.

 

Now here are the other updates that led to this update:

 

Since yesterday, all five living First Ladies have decried Team Trump’s family separation policy. Laura Bush lead the charge with this Washington Post Op-Ed:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/laura-bush-separating-children-from-their-parents-at-the-border-breaks-my-heart/2018/06/17/f2df517a-7287-11e8-9780-b1dd6a09b549_story.html?utm_term=.a7bc535f465c

 

 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, cancelled plans to send National Guard troops from his state to the U.S.-Mexico border because of Team Trump’s policy:

https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/Gov-Charlie-Baker-Wont-Send-National-Guard-to-Border-Citing-Cruel-and-Inhumane-Actions-of-Trump-Administration-485838361.html

 

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signed an executive action to that effect:

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/18/immigrant-family-separation-colorado-stance/

 

Later that day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, followed Baker’s lead on deploying National Guard troops:

http://thehill.com/latino/392840-cuomo-will-not-deploy-national-guard-to-border-over-trump-family-separation-policy

 

 

And yesterday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen held an absolute shitshow of a press conference. Here’s a story on it from CBS:

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/dhs-sec-kirstjen-nielsen-denies-family-separation-policy-exists-blames-media/

 

And here is a piece from Washington Post‘s analytical column, The Fix, on what Nielsen’s been up against. It doesn’t appear to reflect the events of the press conference, however. (At least it didn’t as of 7:30 pm EST on June 18, 2018.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/06/18/the-grim-desperation-of-kirstjen-nielsen/?utm_term=.f9fb5ba689d1

 

So! Here are some good and useful scripts from the fundamentally awesome Celeste Pewter to reference if you’ve already called your Senators about this or if you want other avenues to consider.

 

First, you can ask your governor to follow the leads of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper:

 

 

Second, you can contact the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directly to complain.

When you do this, please be unfailingly polite. You can be forceful and firm AND mannerly. If you can’t manage that, please leave this task be and tackle another one instead–you have many other options for pushing back.

Pewter also notes, and we agree, that calling your Senators is best for getting actual results with regard to ending Team Trump’s policy. Contacting these departments will largely succeed in gumming up their works.

 

Contact info for the DOJ:

Department Comment Line: 202-353-1555

Department of Justice Main Switchboard: 202-514-2000

Link to the DOJ comments form:

https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice

 

Complaints email for DHS: crcl@dhs.gov,

Phone lines for DHS: 202-401-1474; 866-644-8360

 

 

And here is a third script from Celeste Pewter, if you’d like to call your MoCs to ask for Nielsen’s resignation. Yesterday, California Senator Kamala Harris called for the DHS secretary to resign  over her garbage performance at the press conference:

 

It’s time for Secretary Nielsen to resign. The government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart. And the government should have a commitment to transparency and accountability. Under her tenure, DHS does not have a track record of either.

 

 

Original text of the post follows, which focuses on calling your Senators about Feinstein’s bill. If you haven’t had a chance to do this yet, do it FIRST and then tackle the other stuff listed above:

 

The Trump administration is pursuing increasingly sick and disgusting acts. Its policy of separating families arriving at the border–even those who are applying for asylum–has sickened damn near everyone, and rightly so.

 

Team Trump has doubled down on the zero-tolerance policy by wrongly claiming that Democrats are responsible for it (they’re not, it’s a Trump thing), and used passages from the Bible to justify enforcing it. This last is nested fuckery in that a) the Bible has many more passages imploring Christians to do right by immigrants; b) it uses a particular passage that Nazis and slave owners parroted to justify their sick, immoral actions; and c) it points to Bible passages as justification for enforcing a sick, immoral government policy when our government is, you know, secular.

 

California Senator Dianne Feinstein is attacking the first part of that fetid tangle of nonsense. On June 7, 2018, she introduced S.3036, the Keep Families Together Act. It would only allow separation of families in cases where the children are being abused or trafficked.

 

 

Here are some pointed tweets that Feinstein issued on the matter between June 15 and 16:
President Trump was wrong again this morning when he said the law requires children to be taken from their parents at the border. To blame Democrats for this policy is a lie. This is the Trump administration’s policy, period. And President Trump could and should end it NOW!

 

News reports indicate that nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their parents in six weeks—about 50 per day. This is an immoral, horrific policy. President Trump could stop this on his own. If he won’t, Congress MUST pass our bill to .

 

UPDATE: 43 senators now support our bill to bar children from being taken from their parents at the border. We still need a Republican senator to join. If you’re represented by a Republican senator, please ask them to cosponsor S.3036.

 

 

Celeste Pewter has been on the case as well. Her scripts are below, and she’s urging the importance of following through and calling your MoCs. You should call your Senators and then your House Rep.

 

First, it’s wise to check both of your Senators’ Twitter feeds to see what they’ve said about Feinstein’s bill. Feinstein has earned the support of 43 Senators so far, none of them Republicans. If you have Democratic Senators, odds are they’ve already signed on. When you call about this, you should thank them. [As noted above, all 47 Democratic Senators and both Independents are officially on board as of 7:30 pm EST. Not one Republican has joined them yet.]

 

Pewter is also encouraging us to ask our Senators to visit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, as Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley did recently.

 

We need to shine a fierce, unrelenting light on this bullshit until Team Trump backs down. Yes, there are multiple Dumpster fires blazing away. Yes, you called to yell about this policy before, not that long ago. But if you haven’t called yet to specifically voice support for the Feinstein bill, please do.

 

Right now, GovTrack shows the bill with a Skopos prognosis of a three percent chance of being made law. Calling will help increase its odds.

 

Here’s Celeste Pewter’s calling script for your Senators (again, call them first):

 

And here is Celeste Pewter’s script for your House rep:
Here is the link to S.3036, the Keep Families Together Act, on GovTrack:
You can monitor #FamiliesBelongTogether on Twitter for news and to retweet to raise
awareness.

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the

page. And tell your friends about the blog!

In addition to following Pewter on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you

can support her in other ways.

 

 

After you call your elected representatives on these two topics, tweet about the

experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.