Take action for migrant children, adults, and families
Children in migrant detention camps describe their situation as dire. In speaking to attorneys, they say:
- "I'm so hungry that I have woken up in the night with hunger." - 12 year old boy
- "We are in a metal cage with 20 other teenagers with babies and young children.... It is very cold." - 16 year old girl
- "The immigration agents separated me from my father right away. I was very frightened and scared. I cried. I have not seen my father again." - 5 year old boy
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General released a Management Alert titled: "DHS Needs to Address Dangerous Overcrowding and Prolonged Detention of Children and Adults in the Rio Grande Valley." It notes "urgent issues that require immediate attention," including serious overcrowding, standing room only conditions (where some adults have been held for over a week),
Of the 8,000 detainees in custody, 3,400 has been there for more than 72 hours, which is the general amount of time recommended for people to be held. 1,500 had been held for more than 10 days. 826 children were among those held for over 72 hours. More than 50 unaccompanied children under 7 were held, with some in custody for over two weeks.
The United Nation's High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemned the conditions at these camps on July 8. The UN human rights office/s team has documented "numerous rights violations and abuses against migrants on the move, including the excessive use of force and family separation."
We need to take action to stop these practices.
- Call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121 and urge them to:
- Visit a camp (especially if there is one in their state)
- Close detainee camps, stop separating children from families, and treat detainees with dignity.
- RAICES has a message you can send via email or use in your calls to Congress.
- July 12 is a National Day of Action to Close the Camps. Events will occur around the world - find one near you at https://www.lightsforliberty.org/localevents.
- Work with Shut Down Berks to close the detention center in Pennsylvania. Here is a list of five actions you can take now.
- The National Council for Jewish Women has a list of actions you can take here.
- Visit our previous post for a list of places to donate money. As always, please research any organization before making a donation.