5 Ways You Can Help Migrant Kids Separated From Their Families

If you’re outraged by children being taken from their parents at the U.S. border, there are ways you can put an end to it. Here are five ways you can help migrant kids separated from their families right now. 

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Helping migrant kids separated from their families

By now, you’ve probably seen the viral Tweets and photos being shared of the overcrowded immigration facility in Texas that’s currently housing over 1,000 children who were taken from the parents while crossing the U.S. border. The unconscionable treatment of these kids and their parents has sparked outrage online and left many of us wondering what we can do to help.

The separation of parents and their children at the U.S. Border has peaked since early May, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to prosecute 100% of people who cross the U.S. Border illegally. “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said at a law enforcement conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, on May 7.

As Vox explains, people who are apprehended while crossing into the U.S. have typically been held in immigration detention and sent before an immigration judge to see if they will be deported, which doesn’t result in them being separated from their families. But immigrants who’ve been referred for criminal prosecution — as the current administration has vowed to do in 100% of cases — get sent to a federal jail and brought before a federal judge to face possible prison time. You can’t be kept with your children in federal jail, and that’s why so many more families are currently being separated.

It’s hard to know how many children have been taken from their families. Reuters reports that family separations were taking place in some cases before May, resulting in approximately 1,800 separations between October 2016 and February 2018. But since the Department of Justice announced their intent to prosecute every single person who crosses the border illegally, that number has increased sharply. According to data provided to Congress by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 658 children were taken from their parents from May 7 to May 21 of this year.

By the end of May, Business Insider reports that around 10,000 children were being held without their parents. And the facilities where these children are being held are running out of room and resources. Not to mention, experts warn that separation is causing these children to suffer potentially irreparable lifelong trauma.

There are many members of congress taking action to put an end to the separation of immigrant families. Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced bill S.3036, which would bar children from being separated from their parents, and now has the support of at least 40 senators.

If you’re wondering what you can do to get involved, here is a list of references and resources to get started. Here are five things you can do right now to help migrant kids separated from their families:

1. Contact your senators and representatives

For a list of U.S. senators and their contact info, you can go here. For representatives, go here. You can also download apps, such as Resistbot, which allows you to write a letter to representatives from your phone, and 5Calls, which provides phone numbers and scripts for calling representatives.

2. Support ActBlue’s initiative to Support Kids At The Border

Funds raised will be split among eight organizations, including the ACLU, that are supporting and advocating for the rights of children and families. More info on the organizations can be found at the link.

3. Support individual agencies working to represent kids and families

4. Attend or host a rally or march

You can find or plan events in your area at WeAreTheChildren.Org.

5. Have more ideas? Share them on Winnie.

Updated June 2019