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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:



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


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:

View story at



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: )


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:


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: )


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: )


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: )



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….




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: )


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: )


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: ]



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: )


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:


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 for volunteer opportunities & donate here: 6/

( She included this link: )


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: )


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:


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Join a Families Belong Together Event Near You on Thursday, June 14, 2018

Join a Families Belong Together event near you on Thursday, June 14, 2018, and protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the border.


Trump has done a lot of horrible things since he took office. But one of the most horrible, if not the most horrible, is his administration’s new policy of separating migrant families when they arrive at the U.S. border.


Past administrations have had to separate families sometimes, but they did what they could to avoid it. Trump, despite his protestations that he’s enforcing what he calls a “Democrat” policy, is pursuing a new, sick invention from his own sick-minded minions.


If you read OTYCD, you’ve already called your members of Congress to demand action. If you feel the need to muster–and believe us, we feel it too–mark Thursday, June 14 on your calendar.


Families Belong Together is planning protests in Washington, D.C. and several states to call attention to the flagrantly immoral and pointlessly cruel policy that the Trump administration is pursuing through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), among others.


To find an event near you, plug your zip code into this search engine:


Know, however, that the search function does not allow you to include a mile span. If you get no results, you’ll need to scroll down and see the “All Events” list.


As of June 5, 2018, the organizers were working on events in about 50 cities across the country.



See the homepage for Families Belong Together:



See information for the main event in Washington, D.C.:



Donate to the Families Belong Together event:



Like it on Facebook:



Follow it on Twitter:




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Call Your MoCs and Raise Hell Over How ICE Is Treating Migrant Families and Children

Call your members of Congress (MoCs) and raise absolute holy hell over how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is treating migrant families and children their care.


Holy crap. I mean, holy crap. The Trump administration has done a lot of hideously beyond-unacceptable things since it took office. The latest news about how ICE is treating migrant families represents a new low.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pursuing a policy of separating parents and children who arrive in America after fleeing their home countries. According to a New York Times article, more than 700 children have been forcibly parted from their parents since October 2017, and more than 100 of those kids were four years old or younger.


Cites are at the tail of this post, but do we need to tell you how utterly disgusting this is? ‘Disgusting’ doesn’t even cover it. All the words that leap to our minds are forceful swears.


And that’s before we get to the fact that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly defended the policy on the notion that it could serve as a deterrent, and claiming that the separations would be OK because “the children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever”.


Since Kelly made that jaw-droppingly cavalier statement, news broke more widely that the government has somehow “lost” 1,475 kids who came to America as unaccompanied minors (so, to be clear, they came here alone, and the government did not separate them from their parents) and were subsequently placed with sponsors.


In Congressional testimony given on April 26, 2018 by Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary for administration for children and families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said that the agency tried to reach 7,635 children between October 2016 and December 2017 who had arrived as unaccompanied minors. The 1,475 it failed to contact represent 19 percent of the total.


Worse, the PBS show Frontline has since confirmed that at least a few of those “lost” children who arrived unaccompanied were released to human traffickers.


So, to sum up: The Trump administration thinks it’s A-OK to force families who have fled to America to part, holding the parents in one venue and the kids in another that could be thousands of miles away. The administration is OK with this despite the fact that they know the system is horrifically broken–they know they’ve lost track of about 1,500 migrant kids who came here alone and were placed in care while waiting for their cases to be heard.


It might surprise you to learn that President Trump realizes, at least on some level, how fucked-up his administration’s family-separating policy is. It won’t surprise you to learn that he’s trying to blame it on the Democrats rather than kill the policy. See this piece for clarification:


Oh! And that policy he’s blaming on the Democrats? He wants to expand it. Because of course he does.


We’ll wait for you to finish throwing up.


Done? Ok. Here’s what you can do to fight back.


You can call your members of Congress and demand action. Unsurprisingly, Celeste Pewter got there first with a fine script, which we are reproducing here. Note, however, that during the week of May 28, 2018, your MoCs are most likely in their home districts. Please go to their Congressional websites and pull up numbers for their state offices and call those rather than the D.C. switchboard number given in the script.


If you’re not following Celeste on Twitter, please do: @Celeste_Pewter. Also, scroll down for more ways to support her work.




You can also visit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) page on Immigrants’ Rights, read up, and donate to their lawyers, who are fighting this nonsense:



In addition, there are several charities that help migrants that would welcome your support.


The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights advocates for unaccompanied minors who have fled to the United States to escape abuse, human trafficking, crippling poverty, and other unlivable situations. Its webpage is here:



Donate to the Young Center:



Here is the Young Center’s statement on the Trump administration’s policy to forcibly separate migrant parents and children:



Follow the Young Center on Twitter:




The Alitas program, run by Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, helps migrants who ICE delivers to the Alitas Hospitality Center. Read more about their efforts and how you can help:



Here is a longer list of charities, organizations, and humanitarian groups who assist migrants and fight for their rights:



Lastly, you can follow #WhereAreTheChildren on Twitter for news and updates.



And here are the promised cites:


Read a February 27, 2018 NPR story about the DHS separating parents and children at the border:



Read an April 20, 2018 New York Times piece that states that more than 700 kids, including more than 100 very small children, have been separated from their parents since October 2017:


Read a May 11, 2018 Business Insider piece in which White House Chief of Staff John Kelly defends the cruel policy by claiming it’s not cruel and the separated kids will be put ‘in foster care or whatever’:



Read a May 16, 2018 Arizona Central article in which Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defends the policy of separating immigrant parents and children:



Here’s an article explaining how the government “lost” almost 1,500 unaccompanied minors seeking asylum:



Here’s a written version of the Frontline story that shows that at least some of the “lost” unaccompanied children were released to human traffickers:



Here is the official write-up of HHS official Steven Wagner’s April 26, 2018 testimony to Congress:



Here is that piece again that shows that Trump is lying when he claims the Democrats are forcing the government to separate parents and children at the border:



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.


Pewter founded The Road to 2018, an organization devoted to defending Democratic Senators who are vulnerable and up for re-election this year. See our post on it:


Subscribe to Pewter’s peerless newsletter, It’s Time To Fight:



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Learn Which Members of Congress Didn’t Hold Out for a DACA Resolution During the 2017 CR Vote

This OTYCD entry originally appeared in January 2018.

Learn which members of Congress failed to vote ‘no’ on the 2017 Continuing Resolution (CR) vote without also voting for a clean ‘Dream’ Act, aka a resolution on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).


Congress needed to pass a CR to keep the government funded (really, it’s a vote to pay bills that we’ve already accrued) for a set period of time. As the GOP tax bill raged on, the Republicans agreed to a two-week CR, and on December 21, they voted for a new CR to keep things humming along until January 19, 2018.


The CR included six months of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which had expired on September 30, 2017. It did NOT include any help for people affected by DACA, aka the Dreamers.


Supporters of the Dream Act want its passage to be ‘clean,’ which means it is simply passed without other unrelated stuff being attached to it. They wanted Democrats to use their leverage over the CR vote to force their Republican colleagues to pass the Dream Act, too.


Our friends at Indivisible have kept the spotlight on the plight of the Dreamers, and have consistently pushed for passage of a clean Dream Act. After the December 21 Congressional vote, they put up a website, the Dreamer Pledge, that laid out who supported tying the CR to a clean Dream act.



‘Dream Heroes’ are those who favored passing a CR with a clean Dream Act. Check this link and see which of your MoCs are here, and hit the button to get the appropriate call script:



‘Dream Killers’ are those who have not agreed to vote no on a CR that lacks a clean Dream Act. Again, see which of your MoCs are here, and hit the button to get the appropriate call script:



Also see the Dreamer Pledge home page:



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Read about the CR passed on December 21:



Read about the CR’s inclusion of a stopgap measure for CHIP:–for-now–in-bill/2017/12/22/127fc520-e744-11e7-927a-e72eac1e73b6_story.html?utm_term=.2dbea80d46c1

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Support Miry’s List, Which Assists Refugee Families Who Settle in Southern California

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.


Want to help refugee families who have just arrived in America? Check out Miry’s List, which provides new arrivals to southern California with basic needs.


Miry Whitehill-Ben Atar launched Miry’s List in July 2016 after encountering a Syrian refugee family of five, with five-year-old twins and a five-month-old, who had just come to California and needed baby gear and groceries. After getting them set, she realized that she had unwittingly found a gaping hole in the social safety net, and created Miry’s List to fill it.


As of February 2017, Miry’s List had completely taken care of the needs of 60 refugee families in southern California. It is in the process of becoming a 501(3)c organization.



Join Miry’s List:



See the current Miry’s List roster of families needing help:



Donate to Miry’s List:



Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!



Like Miry’s List on Facebook:



Follow Miry’s List on Twitter:


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Support NuDay Syria, Which Helps Syrians Within the Country and Those Sheltering in Nearby Countries

Support NuDay Syria, which provides humanitarian aid within Syria and to Syrians who have fled to nearby countries.


The April 2018 air strike in Syria conducted by the U.S, the U.K., and France reminded the world of the plight of the people suffering at the hands of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. That particular strike was a response to Assad’s April 7 chemical weapons attack on Syrians living in the city of Douma, near Damascus, which killed at least 40. (Douma is a stronghold of resistance against Assad.)


Nadia Alawa launched NuDay Syria in March 2011 in New Hampshire, where she and her family live. Her organization has a special focus on helping Syrian women and girls who must fend for themselves.


In addition to providing food, medical care, access to clean water, and launching a K-12 school for displaced Syrian children in Ankara, Turkey, NuDay Syria operates a program that delivers milk and diapers to Syrian infants. A donation of $30 supplies a baby for one month.



See the NuDay Syria home page:



See its About page:



See all its projects at a glance:



See its Milk and Babies page:



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!



Donate to NuDay Syria:



Like it on Facebook:



Follow it on Twitter:




Read a May 2015 Boston Globe article on NuDay Syria:



Read articles about the April 2018 chemical attack on Douma, Syria:

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Support José Andrés, The Chef Who Served Millions of Meals to Puerto Ricans, and Who Stood Up to Trump

Support José Andrés, the chef who cooked and served millions of meals to hurricane-stricken Puerto Ricans and who stood up to Donald Trump.


Andrés is a hell of a chef, period, full stop.

As of November 2017, he holds two Michelin stars. In 2011, the James Beard Foundation gave him its Outstanding Chef award; past winners include Tom Colicchio of Craft, Eric Ripert of Le Bernadin, Grant Achatz of Alinea, Lidia Bastianich of Felidia Ristorante, Wolfgang Puck of Spago Beverly Hills, Jean-George Vongerichten of Jean-Georges, and Thomas Keller of The French Laundry. Andrés is also credited with introducing America to the concept of tapas.


His nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, came to Puerto Rico on September 25, 2017 to help feed residents in the wake of Hurricane Maria.


By mid-October, the team had built a supply network and prepped and delivered more than a million hot meals. Andrés has broadcast his efforts via his Twitter account and through the #chefsforpuertorico hashtag. He had started to curtail WCK’s efforts by late October, but he has continued to shine a light on the realities of post-Maria life in Puerto Rico on his social media accounts.


Before he stepped up in such an extraordinary way in Puerto Rico, he stood up to Donald Trump, at great personal cost to himself.


When Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015 by claiming that Mexican immigrants were drug dealers and rapists, Andrés withdrew from a deal to create a grand new restaurant in the Trump hotel planned for the old Post Office building in Washington, D.C. (Andrés was born in Spain and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.) Trump sued for breach of contract, and the two parties settled in April 2017.


According to the Washington Post, Andrés said at the time of his withdrawal from the Trump Washington D.C. restaurant deal:

“More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests,” the chef said in a statement at the time. “And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.”


We at OTYCD encourage you to support Andrés and his charitable works however you can.


Andrés’s empire includes 27 restaurants in the U.S. and Mexico, as well as food trucks and catering services. Are any of them near you? Check the link below and pay a visit, and vote with your dollars:



Follow Andrés on Twitter:




Like him on Facebook:



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!



Visit the World Central Kitchen webpage:



Donate to World Central Kitchen:



Read about World Central Kitchen’s and #chefsforpuertorico’s work on the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria:

Read about how the chef quit his partnership with Trump after he disparaged Mexicans, and read about the settlement of the resulting lawsuit: