Thousands across U.S. join ‘Keep Families Together’ march to protest family separation

Hundreds of marches took place across the United States on Saturday as thousands of people demanded the Trump administration reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The protests, marching under the banner “Families Belong Together,” are hoping to push the Trump administration to reunite thousands of immigrant children separated from their families after crossing into the United States.

More than 600 marches occurred throughout the country, from liberal, immigrant-friendly cities like New York and Los Angeles to more conservative regions like Appalachia and Wyoming. American expats even gathered across from the U.S. consulate in Munich.

Read more  at NBC

Take Action for Families

Over the last several weeks, El Pueblo’s community has been horrified by the acts of the United States government along our border with Mexico. Thousands of immigrant families seeking asylum and safety have instead been subjected to a nightmare that will leave long-lasting trauma for children and parents alike. The decision to halt the separations and instead create indefinite detention facilities for families is a continuation of policies by this administration that are rooted in white supremacy, and have resulted in starvation, deaths and irreparable damage to the mental health and wellbeing of individuals who came here seeking safety and opportunity. El Pueblo condemns the racist actions of the President, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and will continue to speak out and take direct action against hateful acts by our government.

Durante las últimas semanas, la comunidad de El Pueblo se ha horrorizado por los actos del gobierno de los Estados Unidos a lo largo de nuestra frontera con México. Miles de familias inmigrantes que buscan asilo y seguridad han sido víctimas de una pesadilla que causará trauma permanente en las vidas de dichos niños y sus padres. La decisión de poner alto a las separaciones y en su lugar crear centros de detención indefinidos para familias es una continuación de las políticas de esta administración que están basadas en la supremacía blanca, y han resultado en inanición, muertes y daños irreparables de salud mental y del bienestar de las personas que vinieron aquí en busca de seguridad y oportunidad. El Pueblo condena las acciones racistas del presidente, así como de I.C.E. o la migra, y continuará expresando y tomando acción directa contra los actos de odio por parte de nuestro gobierno.

What you can do – Lo que tú puedes hacer

Sign our petition! – ¡Firma nuestra petición!

Senator Tillis has proposed legislation to keep families together, but this is not enough. Sign the petition now to demand he incorporate the full integration and inclusion of immigrants, asylees, and refugees into our communities.

El Senador Tillis ha propuesto legislacion para mantener a las familias unidas, pero no es suficiente. Firma nuestra petición para exigirle que incorpore la integración e inclusión total de inmigrantes, asilados y refugiados en nuestras comunidades.

 

Sign now – ¡Firmar ahora!

How did this happen? – ¿Como paso esto?

We have put together a timeline of recent events that led to the current crisis. You can see it here and contains links to articles that contain information found in the timeline.

Hemos elaborado una breve cronología de los acontecimientos recientes que generaron la crisis actual. Puedes verlo aquí y contiene enlaces a artículos que contienen información que se encuentra en la línea de tiempo.

 

“Abolish ICE” is becoming more than just a protest cry

Hundreds of women protested against family separation and detention on Thursday in Washington, DC. They were also calling for the abolishment of ICE.

Calls to “abolish ICE” have been building in recent weeks, as the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policies have pushed the platform into the mainstream among some Democrats.

ICE is shorthand for US Immigration Customs and Enforcement, and many activists on the left see the agency as emboldened and out-of-control under Trump. (It’s also separate from US Customs and Border Protection, which acts as the border patrol; ICE acts as an interior patrol.)

Just this week Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) announced he was introducing a House bill to dismantle ICE in favor of a more “humane” border enforcement. In New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — who upset Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) in the 14th District’s congressional primary — has called for the abolishment of ICE, and she’ll almost certainly be elected to Congress in the fall.

Read more on Vox

Muslims grapple with SCOTUS ruling that redefines their place in America

Ramy Almansoob’s children have been asking every day for weeks: “Do we have a decision yet? Do we have a decision yet? Do we have a decision yet?”

The girls, ages 6, 9 and 13, still live in the war-torn capital of Yemen, where the seeming randomness of airstrikes has taught them to brace for a painful end. Last year, they mourned their grandmother, killed by a stray bullet through the head as she sat inside her home.

The girls knew that the U.S. Supreme Court would soon decide whether President Trump’s ban on entry into the United States by citizens of seven countries, five of them majority-Muslim, including Yemen, would stand. They knew that the ruling would determine whether they and their mother — whose visas were granted on the eve of the ban and then revoked — could finally join their father, a U.S. citizen, in America.

Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling felt like a hammer’s final blow to Almansoob’s lingering hopes. For him and the thousands of other American citizens and permanent residents who have been waiting anxiously for the court’s word, the justices’ decision to uphold the ban presented a verdict not just on the fate of their families, but also on what it means to be American.

Read more at The Washington Post

I work with children separated from caregivers at the border. What happens is unforgivable.

Helplessness. It’s what I feel when children are faced with forced separation from their parent or caregiver at the US border. Anger, sadness, uncertainty, and dismay all follow closely behind.

I work as an attorney with an organization called Kids in Need of Defense, or KIND, devoted to working with unaccompanied children. I hear firsthand stories that illustrate the severe impact of family separation on children; to say they are terrorized and completely devastated is an understatement. This new terror is compounded by the trauma already experienced by these children — the violence, persecution, and other harm they faced in their home country that caused them to seek protection in the US in the first place.

Read more at Vox

The long-lasting health effects of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border

Researchers have long looked upon wars, famines and mass migrations as grim but important opportunities to understand how adversity affects children’s health.

They’ve culled the experiences of orphans warehoused in government facilities, Jewish children dispatched to foreign families ahead of a Nazi invasion, and young refugees fleeing guerrilla warfare in Central America. They’ve conducted experiments in child development labs, taken brain scans, used epidemiological methods, examined the narratives of children torn from their parents — all in an effort to find meaning in tragedy.

Their trove of findings points to one unmistakable conclusion: Separating kids from their parents is detrimental to their physical and mental health.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

Audio: A 6-Year-Old Migrant Girl Tries To Navigate The U.S. Detention System On Her Own

Critics have called the Trump administration’s practice of separating children and parents intercepted at the border “inhumane,” “cruel,” and “immoral” on principle.

A recording from a children’s detention facility shows what it sounds like in practice. Inconsolable children calling for their parents can be heard in the audio obtained by ProPublica. An adult man responds, apparently in jest: “We have an orchestra here.”

One girl, a six-year old from El Salvador, stands out. She insists on talking to her aunt. She eventually achieves her goal, according to ProPublica, which was able to reach the girl’s aunt.“It was the hardest moment in my life,” the aunt told the news outlet. “Imagine getting a call from your 6-year-old niece. She’s crying and begging me to go get her. She says, ‘I promise I’ll behave, but please get me out of here. I’m all alone.’”

Read more at Government Executive

Advocates Worry About Girls Held Due to Family Separation Policy

The Trump Administration has released photos of young boys being held at detention centers for undocumented immigrants, but so far it has not released any images of young girls.

That discrepancy has led to Administration critics to start a Twitter hashtag #wherearethegirls. Pressed on the question at a White House briefing Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that children are being cared for in the same way but that she would have to “look into” why no photos have been released.

Migrant rights groups say they are concerned about the risks that girls and young women face in detention, noting issues such as pregnancy, sexual assault, menstruation and psychological trauma from assault and rape they faced in their home countries.

Read more on Time Magazine

Where Are The Girls Who Are Taken From Their Parents At The Border?

Faced with a human rights disaster on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration did what it does best: duck and weave.

On Monday, the administration deployed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to answer the press’ questions about the growing moral concern over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ zero-tolerance immigration policy, which has led to forced family separations. Over 2,342 children have been taken from their families since May 5, according to FWD.us.

When a reporter asked her why the government has only released photos of the boys being held — “Where are the girls? Where are the young toddlers?” — Nielsen said, “I don’t know.” She added that after 72 hours (she had previously said 48), most children are transferred from DHS (Department of Homeland Security) care to HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) care, effectively washing her own hands of the matter. The DHS reportedly has limited space (only about 2,700) beds to house families together, at three detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania.

Read more on Refinery29

Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border

f you’re horrified by news of families being separated at the borders, here’s a bit of news you can use.

First, the policy: It helps to be incredibly clear on what the law is, and what has and has not changed. When Donald Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders say that the policy of separating children from their parents upon entry is a law passed by Democrats that Democrats will not fix, they are lying.

There are two different policies in play, and both are new.

Read more at Slate