How to Help Children Detained at the Border
Migrant families have been ripped apart and treated inhumanely after entering the U.S
It’s all over the news, but did you know there’s something you can do about it?
Taken from their families only to live in unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, and cruel treatment are just a few of the many horrifying realities migrant children crossing from Mexico to the US have been forced to face. A problem that has been building for years, things have come to a disturbing intensity with the Trump administration. As well as being morally wrong and a violation of human rights, the U.S is breaking it’s own laws, as set out in the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement. This agreement outlined standards required for the detention and release of unaccompanied minors. The detention centers, that at this point are more like cages, are most certainly not meeting the minimum standards set out in this agreement. Some people have tried to donate items like toothbrushes, soap, and diapers only to be turned away. This is because federal agencies aren’t legally allowed to accept donated items. But there are still things you can do to help those suffering.
Yes, you do have the power to put pressure on elected officials – and it’s surprisingly easy! You can find out who your representative is here. Once you know their name, you can find their contact information here. It’s easiest to call their offices directly, and remember, you have every right to do so. This number isn’t just for VIPs. Alternatively, you can dial 202-224-3121, which will connect you to the Capitol Hill switch board. Ask to be connected to your representative. Once you reach their office, a legislative assistant will answer the phone. Tell them what you are concerned about in a concise manner. They keep track of how many people call about what issues, so while you won’t speak to your representative directly, you will help with convincing them to vote in a certain way, by showing she or he that many of their constituents care about this issue. Of course, this is only if you are in the US. If you don’t live in the US, you can donate and support to a variety of organizations.
Like many things in life, money and access to legal representation makes a big difference in crisis situations. The migrants trapped in the detention centers need your donations to be able to be released from captivity. All of the below organizations are trustworthy, and your money will go directly to helping these migrants.
RAICES: A Texas based organization that offers free and/or low cost legal services to immigrant children and families. Donate here.
KIND: Otherwise known as, Kids In Need of Defense, this organization lobbies for the rights of detained children as well as provides legal representation to migrant children. Donate here.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras: This organization provides aid and shelter to migrants on their way to the US. A very important organization as the journey is extremely dangerous. No one can forget the image of the father and his daughter who drowned trying to reach the border. Donate here.
Fronterizo Fianza Fund: run by the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, this organization assists families to come up with the bond money needed for a detained immigrant to be released. Donate here.
South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project: Run by the American Bar Association, this organization is supporting over 1,000 unaccompanied children detained across south Texas. Donate here.
Artwork by Esme Rose Marsh