Take action for immigrant human rights
July 1, 2019
The situation of immigrants, particularly those on the U.S./Mexico border seeking asylum, has gained increasing attention. The situation of children held by Border Patrol in Clint, Texas, Trump threatening mass deportations, and the recent death of a father and his daughter from El Salvador, who drowned in the Rio Grande last week, have put a spotlight on the inhumane practices of the current administration. This week we are focusing on actions people can take to get involved in the movement to change immigration policy and offer solidarity and support to immigrant communities and asylum seekers.
Yes! Magazine offers a comprehensive list of “20 Ways You Can Help Immigrants Now.” There are a lot of ideas here for you to consider - actions you can take directly, or more powerfully, things you can encourage friends, families, and organizations you may be a part of to do that can make a difference.
The first item on the list is taking part in demonstrations. If you are looking for a way to get involved in this way, there are several national mobilizations happening tomorrow, July 2, to get involved in.
#CloseTheCamps: While members of Congress are in their home offices this week for the July 4th recess, MoveOn is coordinating demonstrations at their offices. From their website:
Children denied soap and toothbrushes, crowded into unsafe conditions. Separated from their families, subject to cruel treatment that leads to lasting traumas. And some dying in custody—or dying with parents as they cross the Rio Grande.
We've seen the images and heard the stories coming out of child detention centers. Horrifically, these conditions aren't an accident. They are the byproduct of an intentional strategy by the Trump administration to terrorize immigrant communities and criminalize immigration—from imprisoning children in inhumane conditions to threatening widespread raids to break up families to covering up reports of immigrants dying in U.S. custody and abuses by ICE and CBP agents.
It’s going to take all of us to close the camps.
This Tuesday, July 2, while members of Congress are home for the Fourth of July holiday, we will gather at their local offices in protest. Our demands:
Close the Camps
Not One Dollar for Family Detention and Deportation
Bear Witness and Reunite Families
Will you join a local Close the Camps protest near you this Tuesday, July 2? Find an event or start your own, and bring everyone you know. Can't attend or host an event? Text CAMPS to 668366 to continue taking action to #CloseTheCamps.
To find a local demonstrations or register one, visit the website here.
Rally to Protect Immigrant Children
(for those in the Washington D.C. area)
WHAT: Are you outraged at the recent reports of abuses and deaths of immigrant children detained in President Trump’s camps and looking for a way to fight back? Come join us at our Rally to Protect Immigrant Children where we will demand that this administration provide safe and sanitary housing and care for all immigrants detained by DHS, respect the Flores Decree, and stop the devastating family separations. Come out and make your voice heard in defense of immigrants’ rights. These children need all of us to act. We must not remain silent.
WHEN: Tuesday, July 2nd from 10:00 am to 11:00 am
WHERE: 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Outside U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Organized by: Centreville Immigration Forum (CIF), International Mayan League, Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC), and Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO).
The reality of “Remain in Mexico” Policy
The Washington Office on Latin America has produced some valuable information on the “Remain in Mexico” policy implemented by the Trump administration, as well as the impact of Mexico’s crack down on immigrants... You can review their Q&A about the U.S./Mexico Agreement here. Some useful background info on the Remain in Mexico policy.
Under the program, informally known as “Remain in Mexico”, migrants who present themselves at official ports of entry, or who are apprehended between the ports of entry and seek asylum in the United States, may be returned to Mexico while they await the adjudication of their asylum cases in U.S. immigration courts. To date, CBP has only returned asylum seekers to three ports of entry: Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and Mexicali.
Since the launch of the program on January 25, 2019, more than 11,000 migrants seeking asylum in the United States have been returned to Mexico. U.S. officials state that with the expansion, they expect to return an additional 1,000 asylum seekers per day. At that rate, it would take just over three months to send 100,000 migrants—essentially, homeless, unemployed, vulnerable people, including some non-Spanish speakers—into Mexico’s beleaguered border towns.
Such numbers would utterly overwhelm those border towns, which are already under extreme strain due to resource shortages, security crises, and the “metering system” implemented by U.S. border officials that has drastically limited the number of asylum seekers permitted to access the U.S. ports of entry each day.
That system is currently forcing about 19,000 asylum-seekers to wait weeks or months on the Mexican side of the border for an appointment with U.S. officials. Local migrant shelters run by private, usually church-based charities are currently housing double, sometimes triple, the number of migrants their facilities are built to support. Add 1,000 more per day, and the unconscionable spectacle of refugee encampments in Mexican border cities cannot be far off.
This morning the Guardian ran a great article that illustrates what this policy means for people stuck in border towns waiting for their number to be called so they can cross into the United States and apply for asylum.