The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, announced on May 7th, has led to the mass separation
of immigrant families crossing the border, many of whom are seeking asylum from dangerous conditions in their home countries.
Since its implementation, countless heartbreaking stories have emerged, including a mother who was deported
while her son was kept in a U.S. facility and a father who committed suicide
after being separated from his kids.
In a statement to The Guardian
, UN human-rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said, “The practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.”
To help reunite families and defend immigrants rights, here’s a list of local resources.
- The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights works alongside attorneys and social workers to take action serving in the best interest of the child. The center is currently accepting donations and recruiting child advocates, who spend time with children as their case is being processed. Find out more and donate here.
- RAICES is the largest immigration legal services non-profit in Texas and provides free or low-cost representation for refugees and underserved immigrant children and families. You can support their efforts to help unite families by donating here. If you are looking for more on-the-ground work, they offer a range of volunteer opportunities and resources for local businesses to become a sanctuary space. The organization hosts an education event on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at the Community Education Center at 802 Kentucky Ave.
- Migrant Center for Human Rights provide advocacy, information and legal representation to detained, low-income immigrants in the United States who are threatened by deportation. They work out of two adult detention facilities outside of San Antonio: the South Texas Detention Complex and the Karnes County Correctional Center. Donate or sign up for one of their volunteer opportunities for students, legal professionals and translators.
- The Texas Civil Rights Project is also working to reunite families through legal work and interviews with as many people affected as possible. They are seeking “volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistant experience.” You can also donate here.
- Neta is a bilingual, grassroots and Latinx-run organization based in the Rio Grande Valley that tells stories of immigrants from both sides of the border. Donate here.
- The ACLU of Texas champions many civil liberties issues including reproductive and LGBTQA rights and prison reform. They also emphasize the importance of fighting for the rights of immigrants, regardless of citizen status, throughout Texas courtrooms, legislature and communities. Their website is an excellent resource for staying informed on these issues and for learning your rights. Donate here.
- South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) provide pro bono legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas. Donate here.
As always, if you find the situation at the border upsetting, you can let your representatives know your concerns.
Currently, there is a proposed bill
in the U.S. Senate (with support from all Democratic officials) that bars families from being separated at the border. It is still in need of support from Republican candidates, so now is an important time to express your support.
You can learn how to contact your representatives here
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