Since the Trump Administration announced its “zero tolerance” policy in May, over 2,300 children have been separated from their parents and detained, without a clear path to reunification. As grantee leader Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris explains, trauma at an early age can lead to toxic stress and ultimately long-term health consequences.
As the American public learned more about this policy, including hearing recordings from the facilities where these children are being held, our national shock and horror have turned into action in the form of millions of dollars donated, calls to elected officials, and planned community protests.
Although an Executive Order was signed yesterday to end the practice of family separation, the issue is far from being resolved. What we do know is that the Administration’s reversal shows the power of public pressure. Our community spoke with unity and clarity: family separation is wrong. Below, you’ll find a collection of statements from our grantees and grantee leaders, and steps you can take to support migrant families seeking just treatment at our border:
What can we do?
***UPDATE*** Looking for local, community-led organizations whose work you can support at the border? These organizations are based in border communities, including El Paso, and bring decades of experience and an enduring presence to providing legal aid and refuge to migrant families:
- Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee — Helping pay immigration bonds to get detained people free and to reuniting them with family.
- Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc. — Providing direct legal services to immigrant children separated from their families. They need financial support, as well as volunteer attorneys (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center — Providing legal services to asylum-seeking parents being separated from their families.
- Annunciation House — Providing refuge to migrant families
Give — these organizations are accepting donations to support migrants and refugees in need of financial and/or legal support
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center
- Texas Civil Rights Project
- Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
- United We Dream
Speak Out — Tell your elected representatives that forced separation of families is inhumane, and that immigrant families deserve due process
- Latino Community Foundation Action Center
- Refugee Council USA Action Center
- MoveOn.org June 30 Day of Action
- NAACP — “Call your Member of Congress” Action Brief
Statements from the Community:
- “Research from the CDC, Kaiser Permanente, and many others, demonstrate that adverse childhood experiences, like being forcibly separated from a parent or caregiver, substantially increases the risk for negative physical and psychological outcomes, both in the short term and later in life.” — Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, CEO and Founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, testifies before Congress
- We are better than this. Separating children from their parents is harmful and inhumane. Regardless of whether these families are ultimately granted asylum, we must stand together as a nation to reject any policy that brings unnecessary trauma to those most vulnerable among us.” — Daniel Lurie, CEO of Tipping Point Community
- “What is happening in our country is not simply an immigrant rights issue. It is a civil rights issue. It is a human rights issue. And while it has been politicized, it should be a nonpartisan issue.” — Fred Blackwell, CEO of San Francisco Foundation
- “Seeking Asylum is not illegal. We will not sit idly by while families are ripped apart. Together, we will recover the true values of our nation” — Omar Carrerra, CEO of Canal Alliance
- “My soul hurts to hear babies crying inconsolably for their parents, begging for help. I think about these little ones each time I look at my children, hoping that we will stop this madness and reunite them with their mothers and fathers who braved through that long and dangerous journey millions of immigrants have taken before, looking for safety in America” — José Quiñonez, CEO of Mission Asset Fund
- “Separating innocent children from their parents is inhumane and goes against our fundamental values as Americans. It must stop.” — Elisa Villanueva Beard, CEO of Teach for America
- “The gut-wrenching news coverage and photos reflect the raw truth of what has been happening across our country. It is an affront on the values this country is founded on and the promises it made to be a refuge of hope to the less fortunate. … When our own children and grandchildren ask us what did we do at such a time as this, how will we respond?” — Latino Community Foundation