by Michelle Palmer
UPDATE: After this was originally posted, President Trump signed an executive order reversing the family separation policy. However, thousands of children are still separated from their parents, and the crackdown on immigrants remains problematic. Help is still needed, and there are ways for us to get involved. For more, see Trump’s Executive Order On Family Separation: What It Does And Doesn’t Do from NPR.
It takes a grave issue to warrant the first ever edition of “Wednesday Justice,” and this one is. To not have heard about what’s going on at the US-Mexico border over the last several weeks, you’d have to be living pretty far off the grid. But even if you have heard about it, you may not understand quite what’s happening or why. Full disclosure: we don’t have a great grasp of it either. It’s complex and confusing and heartbreaking. Channon and I have been tied up the last couple of weeks with personal projects, which means we’ve not been able to dedicate sufficient time and energy to understanding this issue as well as either of us would like. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do! We’ve gathered links that will help us understand the issue better, as well as ways to help.
What’s going on?
- What We Know: Family Separation And ‘Zero Tolerance’ At The Border – NPR
- Trump’s separation of families at the border: a visual explainer – Vox
- Why are families being separated at the US southern border? – a video explainer – The Guardian
- What’s happening at the US border – CNN
- The facts about Trump’s policy of separating families at the border – Washington Post
- Here Are the Facts About President Trump’s Family Separation Policy – TIME
Updates on Executive Order from June 20:
- Fact-checking claims about Trump’s plan to stop family separations – Washington Post
- Trump signs executive order to keep families together at border, says ‘zero-tolerance’ policy will continue – PBS
- President Trump Signs Executive Order to Keep Immigrant Families Together – TIME
What can we do?
– CALL YOUR SENATORS!!! It’s super easy. Call the capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and read the script.
– Check out this regularly updated Google Doc from Feed Our Democracy: Action Plan for Helping Immigrant Families Torn Apart at Border
Donate! These organizations are funding operations ON THE GROUND:
- Texas Civil Rights Project
- Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
- Together Rising
- And lots more can be found here: How To Help Immigrant Children Separated From Their Families at The Border
- And here: Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border
And lastly, I want to leave you with some of the best commentary I’ve read on the matter, from one of our very own guest post authors, Vershal Hogan:
Forget “be the change you want to see.” Be the change that you CAN be.
When something awful is happening a long way off, there’s only so much you can do — and you should do all of those things. Agitate the proper authorities. Give money to relief agencies. Keep talking about it on social media (and in real life!). Put the squeeze on wherever you can.
But then take to heart the message about rising tides lifting all boats. Find something in your local community you can do to improve things there. The fastest way to change hearts and minds is to meet needs.You may not be able to give out blankets at the border, but — after you call your Senator, of course — you can give out blankets at your local shelter. You may not be able to walk with the labor organizers marching on the Capitol, but — after you call the governor — you can give someone the $50 they need to get their car fixed so they can go to work. You may not be able to house every homeless veteran, but — after you call your representative — you can give someone a ride to the VA.
(And honestly, if you’re saying “what about ‘x'” in response to someone else’s concern, then you need to be sure you’re actually working to address ‘x.’)
Maybe none of those things are an option. Maybe you are tethered down with work and family and legal obligations. Maybe your good is even smaller. But do it. “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone.”
Until that season comes when you reap, do what you can when you can — be it online, in the streets or under your roof.
For more information…
- ‘We need to stop this policy right now,’ Zuckerberg says, urging donations to reunite immigrants families – USA Today
- For LOTS more information about who to call, how to call, etc., check out Celeste Pewter on Twitter.
- The Ten Stages of Genocide – Genocide Watch
- VIDEO: Living Conditions of Detained Undocumented Children – Vice News
- What Senator Jeff Merkley Saw at an Immigrant Detention Center for Children – The Nation
- OPINION: How to sleep at night when families are being separated at the border – Washington Post
- VIDEO: Beto O’Rourke with Chris Hayes – MSNBC
- The Democratic Senate bill that would stop family separations, explained
- The FAQs: What You Should Know About Family Separation at the Border
- OPINION: Seizing Children From Parents at the Border Is Immoral. Here’s What We Can Do About It. – New York Times
- Here’s a list of organizations that are mobilizing to help immigrant children separated from their families – Texas Tribune
- Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse – AP News