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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.

 

 

 

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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 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/

 

 

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!

 

 

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

@leedsgarcia

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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:

http://map.familiesbelong.org/search.php

 

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:

https://familiesbelong.org

 

 

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

https://actionnetwork.org/events/families-belong-together-rally-dc

 

 

Donate to the Families Belong Together event:

https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/families-belong-together-familias-unidas-no-divididas

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/familiesbelong

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@familiesbelong

 

 

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 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 Factcheck.org piece for clarification:

https://www.factcheck.org/2018/05/trump-blames-own-border-policy-on-democrats/

 

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:

https://www.aclu.org/issues/immigrants-rights

 

 

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:

https://www.theyoungcenter.org

 

 

Donate to the Young Center:

https://www.theyoungcenter.org/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:

https://www.theyoungcenter.org/stories/2018/5/8/breaking-attorney-general-sessions-announces-policy-to-prosecute-parents-and-forcibly-separate-their-children

 

 

Follow the Young Center on Twitter:

@TheYoungCenter

 

 

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:

https://www.ccs-soaz.org/agencies-ministries/detail/alitas-aid-for-migrant-women-and-children

 

 

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

http://www.nnirr.org/drupal/border-groups

 

 

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:

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/27/589079243/activists-outraged-that-u-s-border-agents-separate-immigrant-families

 

 

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’:

http://www.businessinsider.com/john-kelly-family-separation-policy-illegal-border-crossing-2018-5

 

 

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

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/nation/2018/05/16/homeland-security-chief-defends-policy-separates-families-entering-u-s/614505002/

 

 

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

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/nation-now/2018/05/25/immigration-children-separated-families-lost-column/643793002/

 

 

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:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/hhs-official-says-agency-lost-track-of-nearly-1500-unaccompanied-minors/

 

 

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

Click to access Wagner%20Testimony.pdf

 

 

Here is that Factcheck.org 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:

https://www.factcheck.org/2018/05/trump-blames-own-border-policy-on-democrats/

 

 

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:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/02/25/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators/

 

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

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

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!

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Support Immigrants and Refugees

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:

https://www.dreamerpledge.org/dream-heroes/

 

 

‘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:

https://www.dreamerpledge.org/dream-killers-1/

 

 

Also see the Dreamer Pledge home page:

https://www.dreamerpledge.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!

 

 

Read about the CR passed on December 21:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/after-passing-tax-overhaul-gop-returns-to-infighting-as-shutdown-deadline-looms/2017/12/21/dfad1890-e659-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?utm_term=.ce30089dbb3a

 

 

Read about the CR’s inclusion of a stopgap measure for CHIP:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/childrens-insurance-other-health-programs-funded–for-now–in-bill/2017/12/22/127fc520-e744-11e7-927a-e72eac1e73b6_story.html?utm_term=.2dbea80d46c1

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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:

http://www.nudaysyria.net/home.html

 

 

See its About page:

http://www.nudaysyria.net/about.html

 

 

See all its projects at a glance:

http://www.nudaysyria.net/projects.html

 

 

See its Milk and Babies page:

http://www.nudaysyria.net/babies-and-milk.html

 

 

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:

http://www.nudaysyria.net/support.html

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/NudaySyria

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@NuDaySyria

 

 

Read a May 2015 Boston Globe article on NuDay Syria:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/05/30/from-small-town-new-hampshire-stream-relief-syria/A1ygXuy8tTqzIkSZTK8BfN/story.html

 

 

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

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43686157

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43697084

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/days-after-suspected-chemical-attack-russia-says-douma-under-full-assad-control/2018/04/12/cc103a3e-3e5a-11e8-955b-7d2e19b79966_story.html?utm_term=.f109718008b1

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GOOD UPDATE! Democrat Kathy Tran WON A Seat In The Virginia State Legislature

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

YES YES YES! Per Flippable, Democrat Kathy Tran won her race for a seat in the Virginia state senate. Hooray!

Original text of this post follows.

Support Kathy Tran, a Democrat running for the Virginia state legislature’s House of Delegates.

Flippable, the organization created after the 2016 elections to focus on state and local elections, has identified the state of Virginia as, well, flippable. All 100 seats in its House of Delegates are up for grabs on November 7, 2017.

We at OTYCD hope to prep and post items on the five Virginia candidates in the districts that Flippable has deemed most worthy of your time and money.

Tran and her family fled Vietnam when she was seven months old. She served the U.S. Department of Labor for 12 years before moving on to the National Immigration Forum, a leading immigration advocacy organization.

She wants to strengthen public schools, protect our environment, and prevent gun violence. She supports comprehensive immigration reform and expanding Medicaid. She defends reproductive rights, and has earned the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

And as this quote from her Civil Rights and Democracy entry in her Issues section shows, she will defend both in a loud voice and at the slightest provocation:

“Kathy will use her voice to stand against those who seek to undermine a welcoming and inclusive Virginia.

At a time when the most fundamental elements of a well-functioning democracy are being challenged across the country, Kathy will fight against laws and practices that keep Virginians from exercising their right to vote or seek to weaken our vote through gerrymandering or the influence of big money in politics.”

 

See Tran’s campaign website:

https://www.kathyfordelegate.com

 

See her ‘Meet Kathy’ page:

https://www.kathyfordelegate.com/#about-kathy-section

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/KathyForDelegate/about/?ref=page_internal

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@KathyLKTran

 

Donate to Tran’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/kathytran?refcode=website

 

See her Crowdpac page:

https://www.crowdpac.com/candidates/58d1f079d9e70460452ebec3/kathy-tran

 

See Flippable’s page on Tran:

http://elections.flippable.org/elections?id=SVAH042

 

See Ballotpedia’s page on Tran:

https://ballotpedia.org/Kathy_Tran

 

See Flippable’s ‘Why Virginia’ page (you can find info on the other four races here):

https://www.flippable.org/virginia-house#wsimg

 

Volunteer to help Tran and the other four Virginia state legislature candidates:
https://www.mobilizeamerica.io/flippable

Community Activism · Support Immigrants and Refugees

Donate To These Bail Funds Across America

This OTYCD entry originally appeared in January 2018.

Donate to these bail funds across America and help poor people gain release from jail to await trial at home.

 

Being poor is not a crime, but all too often, it seems that way. The justice system can, and too often does, impose bail requirements on arrestees who have no hope of raising the money. They languish in jail, risking their jobs, homes, and families, and taking a space that’s better set aside for a more dangerous individual.

 

Bail funds help the poor by lending or giving them the money they need to gain their release. A few months back, OTYCD wrote about the Massachusetts Bail Fund, which was swamped with bail requests and almost had to close as a result:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/support-the-massachusetts-bail-fund/

 

Fortunately, enough donors stepped up to resolve the crisis and place the fund on firmer footing.

 

On November 28, 2017, Clint Smith III, an author and Harvard Ph.d candidate, tweeted a thread of links to bail funds across the country.

 

We have collected the information that he tweeted and have reproduced it here. Full credit goes to Smith, who you should follow (@ClintSmithIII).

 

Giving to bail funds helps poor people from sliding even further into poverty. Your donation allows adults in dire straits to continue to go to work and tend to their families while they wait for their cases to proceed through the justice system.

 

 

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!

 

 

The Bronx Freedom Fund

https://secure.thebronxfreedomfund.org/page/contribute/donate

http://www.thebronxfreedomfund.org

@BronxFreedom

 

 

The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

https://brooklynbailfund.org/donate/

https://brooklynbailfund.org

@BKBailFund

 

 

The Chicago Community Bond Fund

https://www.chicagobond.org/#donate

https://www.chicagobond.org

@ChiBondFund

 

 

Just City Memphis (located in Tennessee)

https://justcity.org/give/

https://justcity.org

@JustCity901

 

 

Louisville Community Bail Fund (located in Kentucky; this is a YouCaring page)

https://www.youcaring.com/louisvillecommunitybailfund-852974

 

 

The Massachusetts Bail Fund

https://www.massbailfund.org/donate.html

https://www.massbailfund.org

@MassBailFund

 

 

The Minnesota Freedom Fund

https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate-to-mff/

https://minnesotafreedomfund.org

 

 

Northwest Community Bail Fund (located in Seattle)

https://www.eservicepayments.com/cgi-bin/specialwebapp.vps?appid=40a27221f816144b21e9f2e0d81891b8a68820b814b79fc6caf83c6a4fcf06b22f288aa4a34fa442a76b20a4eb1041b0e5b6ec8d39e70fe530241e2c3d6d7464&bywebssid=b9035a2d5513d3f0f025f48a7c4ec50f9cf681d7

https://www.nwcombailfund.org/get_involved

@NWComBailFund

 

 

The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund

http://www.phillybailout.com/product/donate/

http://www.phillybailout.com

 

 

The Richmond Community Bail Fund (located in Virginia)

https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=5934e1e120099e9f00aed4f9

https://rvabailfund.org

@RVABailFund

 

 

You can also support bail funds that specifically help immigrants and migrants.

 

The Immigrant Bail Fund (which serves individuals in Connecticut)

https://www.immigrantbailfund.org/take-action/

https://www.immigrantbailfund.org

@migrantbailfund

 

Immigrant Family Defense Fund (which serves individuals in California)

https://immigrantfamilies.org/getinvolved/

https://immigrantfamilies.org

@immfamilies

 

Here also is a December 30, 2017 blog post from Prison Culture (@prisonculture) which lists still more bail funds (scroll down for others not listed above):

http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/2017/12/30/its-national-freethepeopleday-on-new-years-eve/

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Save This Tool That Shows What Laws Your State Is Making Right Now in Six Key Areas

This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.

 

Bookmark a tool by OurStates that shows you what new laws your state might be making in six key areas: immigration, policing and protest, reproductive justice, voting rights, LGBTQ equality, and economic justice.

 

State legislators aren’t just the equivalent of the farm teams for the Democratic and Republican parties–they’re the farm teams for federal laws, too. Well-funded right-wing activist groups have attempted to pass weird, extreme laws on the state level before trying to get Congress to bite.

 

While there are web-based tools that show what your state legislature is doing overall right now, and tools that show what bills the states are considering on a single issue, there aren’t many that show what all 50 states are doing on more than one issue.

 

In fact, what OurStates built might stand alone. It’s a project of StayWoke, a 501(c)4 organization devoted to pursuing justice and equality. Its planning team includes DeRay Mckesson, Samuel Sinyangwe, Brittany Packnett, and a whole host of smart, perceptive people who you’d be smart to follow on Twitter.

 

When you click on a category, it colors the U.S. map accordingly: States colored red are working on harmful laws; blue states are creating good laws; and grey states are not currently chasing anything on that topic.

 

Click on your state, and you’ll open a window that shows you everything it is doing on all six topics. It will describe the law and tell you if the bills are good or bad, as well as which party controls the legislature, what the law would do, and how close the bill is to becoming law.

 

If you scroll down, the OurStates page will give you a link through which you can find your state legislators’ contact information, as well as advice on how to speak with them.

 

 

See and use the nifty tool built by OurStates:

https://www.ourstates.org/#ourstates

 

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!

 

Meet the StayWoke planning team and follow them all on Twitter:

https://www.staywoke.org/about/

 

Donate to StayWoke:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/staywoke-1