The US administration’s policies of separating immigrating families at the border and holding children in isolation from their parents or other adult support systems were so ethically and morally unconscionable that the President caved to enormous political pressure on Wednesday, June 20 and signed an executive order that ends the separation of families by indefinitely detaining parents and children together at the border. The plan is for officials to continue to criminally prosecute everyone who crosses the border illegally but to find or build facilities that can hold families together.
While separating families was worse – holding these victims of violence, hunger, and poverty “indefinitely” is also a violation. Families Belong Together is a grassroots organization working to help the families, and they are calling for immediate reform in Trump Administration, Border Patrol, and I.C.E. policies on immigration.
I know many of you have been feeling as angry and helpless as I am about all this. And you are wondering what to do about it! Below are three actions you can take NOW to help these families.
First of all, call your elected representatives! You can find out who represents you and how to contact them here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members
Once your call is connected, introduce yourself to the congressional staffer who answers the phone and say: “Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and my zip code is [YOUR ZIP]. I’m urging the Senator (or Representative) to denounce Trump’s policy of detaining immigrant families indefinitely at the border and to use all of Congress’ authority to stop it.” (Script from the ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union)
(NOTE: I live in Wauwatosa, and my elected officials in Washington are Senators Ron Johnson (Senator-R) (202) 224-5323 and Tammy Baldwin (202) 224-5653, and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (202) 225-5101. I called all three.)
Second action: Go to Milwaukee or Madison on June 30 at 10 am for a protest organized by Families Belong Together, a grassroots organization which has coordinated protests all over the country. There are protests in the Chicago area on June 30, too. They are timed for a week after the big June 23 “Stand Against Poverty, Mass Rally & Moral Revival” hosted by Poor People’s Campaign in Washington. RSVP to the Milwaukee protest (at Senator Ron Johnson’s office in the federal building: 517 E Wisconsin Ave 53202 here: https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together_attend1/20217
RSVP for the Madison protest here: https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/19857/signup/?source=&s= Use the member-to-member listserv to find others to go with you!!
Third, Donate to Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas that provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrants. https://www.facebook.com/donate/490507544717085/10155806688093160/
If you’d like to know more about organizations working to help these families, go here: https://tinyurl.com/ycuxseal, and to read the Unitarian Universalist Association’s statement on immigration, see here: https://www.uua.org/pressroom/press-releases/unitarian-universalist-association-condemns-family-separation-us/mexico
Blessings to you all – let’s use our blessings well to serve the greater good!
The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister