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Keep Calling Your Senators to Oppose Terrible Judicial Nominees (Not Just SCOTUS)

Keep calling your senators to oppose terrible judicial nominees (not just those for the Supreme Court of the United States).

 

Team Trump’s assault on the judicial branch through nominating terrible far-right candidates hasn’t gotten much attention on this blog because it’s a slow-moving, ongoing crisis.

 

One Thing You Can Do tries to focus on just that–one thing you can do every day to push back against Trump. Sticking rigidly to one thing has proven increasingly difficult as the Trump administration has aged, but we’ve mostly managed it. The judges issue has suffered the most from this practice.

 

Mitch McConnell is not limiting his manipulations to SCOTUS. He deliberately held open dozens of vacant judgeships under Obama and is frantically shoving as many nominees through as he can during the current Congress.

 

This is extra-disturbing because with the GOP in Congressional control, it’s the judicial branch that’s saved us from many of the worst excesses of Trump.

 

Cramming the courts full of young Trump appointees, all of whom receive lifetime appointments, threatens to warp our judicial system and pervert justice for decades to come.

 

You won’t be surprised to learn that most of these bad nominees are getting through on party-line votes.

 

We wrote about this once before after seeing ads on CNN that urged Republicans to support McConnell’s scheming. His most recent desperate move, which ended in the eleventh-hour withdrawal of a nominee who had racist writings in his past, reminded us we should write another post that you can bookmark and revisit.

 

First, know that as long as the GOP has control of Congress under Trump, they are trying to force through far-right nominees, several of whom are seriously problematic and some of whom are unqualified (seriously, they’ve tried to push through people who got an ‘unqualified’ rating from the American Bar Association).

 

The most recent failed nominee, Ryan Bounds, was an extra-insane situation because he was from Oregon, and that state’s senators had both refused to return their ‘blue slips’ on the nominee.

 

That means that Bounds had not earned the support of either Senator from Oregon.

 

In the past, if even one Senator withheld a blue slip, that ended a judicial nominee’s candidacy. McConnell was determined to steam ahead with Bounds in the absence of both blue slips, which has never happened in the history of the Senate.

 

The only reason Bounds was stopped is a GOP Senator, who had seen the racist writings, refused to support him. McConnell, realizing he did not have the votes to confirm, withdrew.

 

So, how to stay on top of the judicial nominee crisis? First, get on Twitter if you’re not already and follow:

 

@civilrightsorg

 

@DSenFloor

 

@cspan

 

The first will alert you to bad nominees. The other two will tell you when they’re headed to the floor.

 

Also follow @Celeste_pewter if you aren’t already. She is on top of bad nominees and will alert you to them as they appear.

 

Second, check this link and see if one of your Senators is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (You’ll have to scroll down for the membership.)

 

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov

 

If you have a Senator on the committee, then it’s extra-important that you call to oppose bad nominees.

 

You can also check the committee’s Nominations page to learn about what’s in progress on that front:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations

 

You should call both your Senators to oppose, but it’s crucial to call members of the committee early and often, in hopes of stopping bad candidates from advancing to a floor vote.

 

We can’t write you a blanket script because each bad nominee is bad in his or her own way. We can teach you to compose your own, however.

 

In checking the Twitter accounts listed above, look for:

 

The rating the nominee has received from the American Bar Association. If the person is unqualified, say so. If McConnell is rushing the nominee through so fast that the ABA hasn’t had time to issue a rating, say that, and demand that nothing go forward until the ABA can give a rating.

 

Whether or not one or both of the nominee’s home Senators has returned a blue slip. If anyone refuses, say so, and cite that as a reason to oppose.

 

If the nominee has hesitated to affirm bedrock rulings such as Brown vs Board of Education, Griswold vs Connecticut, Roe vs Wade, etc. Some nominees have given alarmingly muddled and evasive answers to questions along these lines. The only acceptable answer is ‘yes, these landmark cases were correctly decided.’

 

If civil rights and reproductive rights orgs say, flatly, that ‘Nominee X sucks and should not be on the federal bench for life,’ believe them and act accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Call Your MoCs And Demand That They Keep Doing Everything They Can to Reunite Migrant Families, July 26 2018 Edition

Call your MoCs and demand that they keep doing everything they can to reunite migrant families.

 

We are reposting this follow-up item which initially ran on July 10, 2018 because the Trump administration has formally and unequivocally missed the deadline to reunite all children aged five and under with their families.

 

That deadline was, in fact, July 10, and the administration had signaled that it would likely miss it. See this ABC News story confirming as much:

https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/trump-administration-misses-court-deadline-reunited-separated-children/story?id=56520065

 

We need to stay on this. OTYCD will periodically update and re-run this post as long as the Trump administration fails to do the right thing.

 

Original text follows.

 

Team Trump is still doing a lousy job of reuniting the migrant families that it parted at the border under its disgusting and immoral zero-tolerance policy.

 

This is unconscionable. Those kids need to be with their parents. They never should have been separated in the first place.

 

Others on Twitter (apologies as I cannot recall who) pointed out that it’s in Team Trump’s interest to delay and drag their feet as long as possible, because the longer this goes, the harder this becomes to fix. If the delays go on long enough, Team Trump could try to argue it’s too late to fix the problem, and a court could agree with them.

 

Also alarming is the information relayed in a July 6, 2018 tweet storm by Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, which we will reproduce here:

 

My office recently learned the shocking revelation from that reunification could mean placing a separated child with ANY long-term sponsor — regardless of whether it’s their parents, other family in the US, family back in their home country or in long-term foster care.

[Interjecting to add an OH HELL NO to the notion that ‘reunification’ means placing migrant kids with anyone except the parents they came here with]

 

If true, this interpretation blatantly ignores the terms of the court order. The federal government has also recently admitted that reunification is being used as a bargaining chip to induce parents to agree to voluntary deportation.

 

 

The governors who joined Inslee in fighting Team Trump’s sick policy are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Oregon. If you’re from Washington state or any of the other five, please call your governor’s office to say thanks.

 

Find your governor’s contact information here:

https://www.usa.gov/state-governor

 

 

To the larger point: We need to keep the pressure on.

 

You will be entirely unsurprised to learn that Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) has written and tweeted a pair of scripts on this very point: One for your Senators and one for your House Rep.

 

Have at it, and please scroll all the way down to learn how you can support Pewter’s work.

 

Here is Pewter’s script for your Senators:

And here is Pewter’s script for calling your House rep on this. Please scroll down to learn
how to support her work.

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!

How to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Call Your MoCs And Demand That They Keep Doing Everything They Can to Reunite Migrant Families

Call your MoCs and demand that they keep doing everything they can to reunite migrant families.

 

Team Trump is still doing a lousy job of reuniting the migrant families that it parted at the border under its disgusting and immoral zero-tolerance policy.

 

This is unconscionable. Those kids need to be with their parents. They never should have been separated in the first place.

 

Others on Twitter (apologies as I cannot recall who) pointed out that it’s in Team Trump’s interest to delay and drag their feet as long as possible, because the longer this goes, the harder this becomes to fix. If the delays go on long enough, Team Trump could try to argue it’s too late to fix the problem, and a court could agree with them.

 

Also alarming is the information relayed in a July 6, 2018 tweet storm by Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, which we will reproduce here:

 

My office recently learned the shocking revelation from that reunification could mean placing a separated child with ANY long-term sponsor — regardless of whether it’s their parents, other family in the US, family back in their home country or in long-term foster care.

[Interjecting to add an OH HELL NO to the notion that ‘reunification’ means placing migrant kids with anyone except the parents they came here with]

 

If true, this interpretation blatantly ignores the terms of the court order. The federal government has also recently admitted that reunification is being used as a bargaining chip to induce parents to agree to voluntary deportation.

 

 

The governors who joined Inslee in fighting Team Trump’s sick policy are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Oregon. If you’re from Washington state or any of the other five, please call your governor’s office to say thanks.

 

Find your governor’s contact information here:

https://www.usa.gov/state-governor

 

 

To the larger point: We need to keep the pressure on.

 

You will be entirely unsurprised to learn that Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) has written and tweeted a pair of scripts on this very point: One for your Senators and one for your House Rep.

 

Have at it, and please scroll all the way down to learn how you can support Pewter’s work.

 

Here is Pewter’s script for your Senators:

And here is Pewter’s script for calling your House rep on this. Please scroll down to learn
how to support her work.

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!

How to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Join a Families Belong Together Protest on Saturday, June 30, 2018

Join a Families Belong Together protest near you on Saturday, June 30, 2018.

 

So! Since the Families Belong Together events on Thursday, June 14, 2018, we’ve learned more about the effects of Team Trump’s policy of separating families at the border.

 

It’s bad. And as of the morning of June 19, there’s still a lot we don’t know, such as where the girls, toddlers, and babies.

 

If you had to miss the initial round of Families Belong Together events (understandable, since they were on a weekday and were short-notice), here’s your chance.

 

MoveOn.org, a large, 20-year-old progressive advocacy organization, is coordinating the events.

 

To find an event near you, type your zip code into this link:

https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/search/?action_id=265126845&akid=.37631507.geQWu-&ar=1&rd=1

 

Many events are listed and more are being added. If there isn’t one close enough to you, check the link daily for updates. You can also volunteer to plan an event.

 

In addition, you can check MoveOn.org’s News page:

https://front.moveon.org/blog/

 

Also, follow MoveOn.org (@MoveOn) and Ben Wikler (@benwikler) on Twitter. Wikler is the Washington, D.C. director of MoveOn.org.

 

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!

 

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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.

 

 

 

Call Your Senators · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Uncategorized

Call Your MoCs to Support the Keep Families Together Act, S.3036

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. 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

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Fight Back Against Trump’s Policy of Separating Migrant Families At the Border: Resources Gathered by Activist Alida Garcia, the Today Show, Celeste Pewter, and More

Fight back against the sick, immoral Trump administration policy of separating migrant families at America’s borders with these resources gathered by organizer Alida Garcia and the Today show.

 

Since news broke about the effects of Team Trump’s unspeakable zero-tolerance stance, many good tweets, posts, and stories have gone up that detail things you can do to help.

 

In noting these resources, we at OTYCD have realized that almost all of them come from a pair of Twitter threads by activist Alida Garcia.

 

Here are the two resources that are not from her.

 

First is a fine backgrounder from Politifact that explains what Team Trump’s policy is and isn’t, explains how the government behaved before, and delineates important nuances, such as how the almost 1,500 kids that the government can no longer track arrived here alone, as unaccompanied minors:

 

Read the Politifact article, which dates to June 6, 2018:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jun/06/what-you-need-know-about-trump-administrations-zer/

 

 

Second is a page from the Today show website that includes links to five organizations that help immigrant kids:

https://www.today.com/parents/how-help-immigrant-children-separated-families-t129923

 

Third is a Medium post on how to help from our friend Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter). Because WordPress doesn’t seem to like Medium for some unknown reason, we’ve hyperlinked it. Pewter’s story also includes ways for Americans overseas to help.

 

Fourth is Slate’s contribution, Here’s How You Can Fight Family Separation at the Border:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/how-you-can-fight-family-separation-at-the-border.html

View story at Medium.com

 

 

In case you’re not on Twitter or can’t find the tweet now, Garcia (@leedsgarcia) detailed several useful options in a thread she tweeted on June 9, 2018, and in a second thread sent on June 16, 2018.

 

We’re reproducing both here while omitting actions that have since expired, and adding a boldface note on the one that happens today (June 17, 2018). We’ve also reproduced the tweets as they were written.

 

One last note before you read the Garcia threads: You are seeing comparisons between these camps and Nazi concentration camps for a reason. This is how concentration camps start. The Nazis did not start with the goal of working and starving to death any groups who displeased or threatened them. That happened over time.

 

If German citizens had pushed back early, before the concentration camps became death camps, many, many lives could have been saved.

 

Now–right now–is the time to get loud, get mad, and get active. We don’t have concentration camps yet. But if we don’t push back firmly, fiercely, and relentlessly until Team Trump backs down and abandons its family separation policy, these places could devolve into concentration camps.

 

Here are the Garcia threads, which are excellent and crammed with resources:

 

I’m on a plane, so might as well do this. Feeling helpless about the family separations at the border? Guess what, there are many people & organizations who need your help & electeds who need to do more. Things you can do to help parents & kids at the border thread below. 1/

 

Let’s start w/ Texas: One organization that could use your help is – who are they? Well, they are some of the best story-tellers of the border region, however, they are also kind souls taking donations for families sleeping outside of ports of entry in extreme heat 2/

 

Here’s ‘s fundraiser to help volunteers who go to Mexico to assist these families outside. My friend went down there last week & met a family who had been outside for 17 days. They need Diapers, Underwear, Bras, Baby wipes, etc.

( Here is the Netargv link that she included with the tweet: https://netargv.com/2018/06/06/take-action-help-asylum-seekers-at-the-us-port-of-entries-rio-grande-valley/ )

 

But if you think border voices and what’s happening in the region are important to be amplified during this time, please consider donating to generally at: – let’s stay in the RGV for a bit…. /4

 

Reason why “the RGV [Rio Grande Valley] sector” is so important is that the volume of prosecutions of parents being separated in McAllen a& Brownsville is quite high in comparison to other places. Brownsville is also ground zero on the attack on – & when there are multiple fights you need /5

 

Organized local power to build accountability & organizing around these systems & services. 1 of the most powerful & inspirational organizations I’ve worked w/ in my lifetime is – if you want to help people power grow in this region donate here:

 

& of course we can create more accountability if immigrant-supporting civil rights impact litigators have the resources they need to try to intervene in this process in as many ways as possible. One TX based organization doing amazing work is – in the last 2 wks 7/

 

The Texas Civil Rights Project has been able to try to bring some oversight into the separations/prosecutions in the Rio Grande Valley – they’ve put out stories of parents who have been separated & have been reporting the volume of separations. They need help to cover more 8/

 

…proceedings in more courthouses so that litigators trying to stop this have a better sense as to what is happening as this process lacks transparency across the board. You can help do more by supporting them here (also follow them) 9/ :

( Here is the donation link she included: https://texascivilrightsproject.org/donate/)

 

Once parents are separated and prosecuted some move back over into DHS custody and get moved around to other detention centers. This is where having more lawyers who work inside detention centers to help figure out how to get these parents back w/ their kids is important 10/

 

One organization that works with parents in detention centers in Texas is – they have a bond fund to help reunited families and fight their cases from the outside. You can support that bond fund here: 11/

 

Okay let’s pivot to state & local advocacy a bit – because enforcement is increasing and the system is being jammed in different ways, including the admin’s 0 tolerance policy, there just aren’t enough lawyers to advocate on behalf of individuals & families facing deportation 12/

 

What u actually can do is run campaigns in your cities, counties & states demanding your government(s) fund legal services for people going through the deportation process. Many cities & states have invested in this over the last few yrs, so this isn’t a pie in the sky thing 12/

 

It’s like the general concept of access to counsel, and due process, & trying to be a good locality that doesn’t want to just give a green light to the increased enforcement of this admin. Winning these campaigns can help get more lawyers in more detention centers. 13/

 

And let’s pivot to Congress – while these bills don’t necessarily provide vehicles for easy passage, they help create momentum for concrete policy ideas where pieces of the language in these bills can be inserted into other negotiations like appropriations, etc. Main thing 14/

 

Okay sorry plane was landing, So, Bill #1: Fair Day In Court for Kids Act! Please see if your 2 senators are on it! If not, get them on? How do you know if they’re on? I got you:

( Here is her link to the bill, S.2468, on GovTrack. Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono is the sponsor: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s2468 )

 

Here’s a fact sheet, but basically 85% of kids not represented by counsel are deported….because kids should have lawyers and 3 yr olds shouldn’t advocate asylum law in court houses, but read more here:

( Here’s a link to an ACLU fact sheet on the bill: https://www.aclu.org/fact-sheet/fair-day-court-kids-act-factsheet )

 

Okay next bill to make sure your 2 Senators and house member are on: The Help Separated Children Act – this is sponsored by Smith in he Senate and Roybal Allard in the House, here is a list of who is on it so far:

 

Next bill – hot off the presses yesterday from Senator Feinstein – the Keep Families Together Act, this would define when children can be separated from their parents – here is more, make sure both your Senators are on it:

 

& then very wonky, but a very defined group of people to influence is to financially starve the beast that is causing this harm in the appropriations process. Rep. Jayapal led a call this week to stop the finding of the operations doing this:

( Here’s a link to Rep. Jayapal’s tweet: https://twitter.com/RepJayapal/status/1004766949937594369 )

 

 

Decisions like this are negotiated within the Homeland Security subcommittees of both

chambers who negotiate how much funding goes into those bills. Here are their rosters

so you know who to call….

SENATE:

HOUSE:

 

Everything I said in Texas is needed basically everywhere else right now, so check out plug in your zip code find out what orgs are near you & help by volunteering there!

 

Sorry I’m back one more really important tangible TX thing – you can raid your closet & supplie cabinets and send the below items to Catholic Charities RGV’s shelter for refugees. People arrive with nothing this place helps clean, feed, clothe them. Items they need: (She linked to a screenshot, so it can’t be cut and pasted, but you can go to Amazon and find the Wish List for the Catholic Charities of Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center.)

 

My friend just sent me this – for those who are interested in helping the children & families separated by the recent raid in Sandusky Ohio, here are a bunch of tangible ways to help those families in middle America:

( She included this link: https://americasvoice.org/uncategorized/advocates-for-basic-legal-equality-able-call-to-action-donate/ )

 

And if you want to do one thing today to help a military family from being separated please call the Miami ICE office for my friend Alejandra today (with a kind & loving & respectful voice) – this link gives instructions, takes 1 minute

( She included this link: https://www.fwd.us/keepalejandra )

 

If folks want to help get the final 3 signatures on the discharge petition to force a vote to someone just sent me which helps focus on who to call today & ask to sign!

[Trump has since said he would not sign a bill of this sort, but here’s the link anyway: https://www.dialingfordreamers.com ]

 

 

That’s her first thread. On June 16, 2018, Alida Garcia tweeted a second thread with still more resources to help combat the Team Trump policy:

 

Hi Pals – I’m on another plane, and posted some additional ways to help in a thread here – happy helping! :

 

One opportunity to help is to volunteer w/ – they are in need of Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistant experience to help w/ their legal intake process in McAllen, TX – here is the volunteer form:

( She included this link: https://texascivilrightsproject.org/keepfamiliestogether-volunteer/ )

 

TCRP is also in need of full time volunteers to help lead a parallel process of intake efforts in Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso, and Alpine, Texas. They can help you with training and capacity to organize legal intake in these cities. Here is the form: 3/

 

If you are in California, is in need of volunteers they need immigration attorneys, paralegals, doctors, nurses, EMTs, social workers, mental health professionals, art therapists, & nice people who want to help out! Here’s the vol form:

(She included this link: https://alotrolado.org/take-action/volunteer/)

 

If you are in Pennsylvania, needs volunteer interpreters, vol attorneys/legal assistants, on the ground advocates for help at the Burkes Family Detention center. Here is their vol form: 5/

 

In Arizona? seeks volunteers as a pro bono attorney, an interpreter, researcher, medical professional, expert witness, or to offer administrative assistance. You can e-mail gmillard@firrp.org for volunteer opportunities & donate here: 6/

( She included this link: https://firrp.org/donate/donate-2/ )

 

Want to help, but can’t travel? My friend has pulled together this Amazon list of specific things that the Sacred Heart Respite Center is in need of for families seeking asylum. I can confirm this is real & going to the right place: 7/

 

In Texas & want to be in community? Come to Father’s Day Vigil tomorrow in McAllen, here is the Facebook event link: 8/

 

In Washington State? has a volunteer form for translators & interpreters & has offices in Granger, Seattle, Tacoma or Wenatchee, over 200 of the parents have been transferred here – 9/

(She included this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1CxLlhNYDRXSK-WC_FHgQiAqluOApG9kimV9uD2y_1gM/viewform?edit_requested=true )

 

In the El Paso area? is holding a March to Tornillo – where the tent city for children was built tomorrow [She means June 17, 2018. Note also that there could be other Father’s Day-themed protests relating to these issues happening near you. Check the #FamiliesBelongTogether hashtag for likely leads on local events]. Here is the sign-up link & details for this march: 10/

 

An update on ‘s Keep Families Together Act – below find the current cosponsors. Don’t see your two Senators on there? Call them: (202) 224-3121 11/

(She included a screenshot that we can’t easily reproduce. Check your Senators’ Twitter feeds for statements about the bill.)

 

In Chicago? Flexible volunteering, M-F, at immigration court to provide presence & watch the process & more opportunities w/ the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants – form here: 12/

 

 

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Follow Alida Garcia on Twitter for more info and insights on this issue:

@leedsgarcia