Families Belong Together!

We Need to Keep Advocating Against Ongoing Family Separation and Detention

Update as of August 7th - please feel free to sign up HERE for ongoing updates. Months after the federal government knowingly subject children and parents to traumatic separation and detention through its targeted zero tolerance criminalization of parent refugee/asylees on the southern border: close to 600 children remain in custody with at least 400 of their parents already deported. With allegations by parents that many of the deported parents were coerced into leaving the country without being reunited with their children, the judge in the ongoing court case has ordered that someone be appointed to oversee the process of locating deported parents in other countries.

Several hundred children were not reunited with their parent due to ineligibility. The ACLU explains that parents and children ineligibility for reunification could depend on whether a parent has been located, released from criminal custody into ICE custody, or has a communicable disease. Criminal history as determined by the Office of Refugee Resettlement or ICE is also blocking parents from being reunited with their children, and the ACLU has opposed that in the ongoing court case. These eligibility standards have already resulted in several dozen children under the age of 5 not being reunited with their parents. Further, hundreds of parents have already likely been deported without their children.

Meanwhile, prosecutions of adults continue. The need to change criminalization and detention of parents in order to ensure reunification is not dependent on Congress (as HHS Secretary Azar has stated). That ‘zero tolerance’ policy was enacted by the President and charges adults with ‘improper entry’; and it is the administration’s responsibility to work with the necessary actors to change the policy to one that upholds human rights and public health. Detaining families together also could violate rights under the Flores agreement.

This is alongside the administration’s ongoing threat to the Temporary Protected Status program, which would separate many more families. A lawsuit is calling the racially-discriminatory nature of this policy proposal into question. Officials are also using DNA testing of children who are under 5 - raising concerns around migrants’ rights to privacy and consent. Children who have thus far been reunited with their parents represent reunifications-for-deportation (of the whole family).

Further, the Supreme Court has upheld the Muslim ban - another xenophobic, anti-immigrant policy. This decision attacks various ethnicities of Muslim communities, catalyzes government-and court-sanctioned discrimination of other ethnic and religious groups, blocks families from reuniting across borders, deprives people of access to life-saving health care, and refuses to protect refugees and asylum-seekers from certain targeted countries. Says MoveOn, ‘There's a crystal-clear throughline between the Muslim Ban, the Family Separation policy, family internment camps, and other policies that harm immigrant families.’ See a petition to sign below.

Direct Actions and Opportunities to Donate

Support Bristol County detainees - action request shared by Families for Freedom @families4freedom in New York

Liberty and Justice for All Rally on 8/15 in Philadelphia, PA

Volunteer with local border organizations: Sacred Heart Church, NETA, ProBAR, and the Texas Civil Rights Project (Twitter) are just some of the organizations you can help if you are in TX or willing to travel there. Please refer to the Families Belong Together Guide on How to Help for more details. There are also several upcoming opportunities by RAICES in San Antonio and Austin.

See the following resources on ways to assist children:

Flights to Reunite Families

Break Bread Not Families by LUPE

The Hutto Community Deportation Defense and Bond Fund by Grassroots Leadership @grassrootsleadership.page

Tahirih Justice Center’s Legal Protection for Mothers Seeking Asylum #endfamilyseparation

If you want to personally support an individual in detention send an email to refugeecaravan@gmail.com. They'll send the name and number of a person so you can send $20-50 to their commissary account. You can also write much needed letters of love and support.

Donate to bond funds so detained immigrants can be released. Here's a bay area one but there are others: https://www.bayareaimmigrationbondfund.org/ (shared by Kathi Schaff)

Help Keep Families Together by the National Domestic Workers Alliance

End Family Detention: Women Take Action by @womensmarchonwash

Support Kids at the Border

The Florence Project shared by PolicyLink @policylink

Make a donation to respond to Disgraceful Conditions in U.S. Detention Centers (Physicians for Human Rights)

The RAICES bond fund and other information @raicestexas





Other articles shared by the RAICES include

Information and Updates

Read THIS FACT SHEET on the health impacts of the zero tolerance policy and families being separated

Learn more about ongoing developments at the @congressional.hispanic.caucus (on different immigration policy issues)

There is further information on policy agendas related to the separation of families at the National Immigration Law Center @NationalImmigrationLawCenter #EndFamilySeparation - as well as HERE as shared by @MICOP805

Follow Follow Mijente @conmijente #FreeOurFuture and the Women’s March for information by activists and organizers @womensmarchonwash #EndFamilyDetention #AbolishICE

Take action for vulnerable children and families at the border by looking at the Families Belong Together webpage - be sure to sign up for notice of upcoming actions in your area! - as well as looking up the National Domestic Workers Alliance on Facebook @familiesbelong @nationaldomesticworkersalliance #FamiliesBelongTogether #EndFamilySeparation #LasFamiliasMerecenEstarUnidas.

Follow relevant updates by the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties at their page @sdaclu as well as by the American Immigration Council

Find broader resources on the Resources page of the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign @CLASP.org @NationalImmigrationLawCenter

Also see:

White Coats for Families Belong Together Campaign shared by Kathi Schaff

Letter and statement by the American Public Health Association on the long term and irreversible health impacts of border immigration enforcement policy and the need to reunite children with their parents as well as explore alternatives to detention @AmericanPublicHealthAssociation

Philanthropy Responds to Inhumane Family Separation and Detention Policies HERE @GCIRNetwork

See this statement on immigration policy’s impact on public health by Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum @apiahf

Stay up to date on how public health professionals can support immigrants rights organizing by joining the Public Health Awakened network, an initiative by Human Impact Partners @HumanImpactPartners

La Red -Faith in Action @LaRedFaithinAction

Texas: See this resource on ways to help families who are being separated at the border as well as other information on the La Union del Pueblo Entero page @LUPErgv #FamiliesBelongTogether #ReunificationNotDeportation and read the experiences of migrants suffering due to this policy at the Grassroots Leadership Page @grassrootsleadership.page

Check out THIS STATEMENT as well as the campaign #FamiliesAreSacred #LasFamiliasSonSagradas by Carecen SF to lend your voice to the movement to end ‘zero tolerance’ and family separation at the border! @CarecenSanFrancisco

Denver and Coloradans: See information, including a statement, by Padres & Jovenes Unidos @padresjovenesunidos.

Partners on the East Coast: see the American Friends Service Committee for ongoing demonstrations at the border – as well as other tools and knowledge – to promote that #FamiliesBelongTogether through rejecting the threat narrative @AmericanFriendsServiceCommittee

Bay Area: Follow @ColemanAdvocates for Children and Youth to learn about ongoing actions that you could participate in #KeepFamiliesTogether

Also follow @bay resistance and sign up for their information/alert network

Rhode Island: look at the Alliance to Mobilize our Resistance @amornetwork for ways you can get involved

Existing Petitions and Letters to Sign

Sign on here:


Links to Organizations

Other organizations to check out per RAICES’ resource-sharing:

Advocating to Congress

The American Immigration Lawyers Association advocacy center offers a communication hub directed at members of Congress.

Also, the following was shared by the DC Immigration Hub:

Weigh in with Members of Congress! The ACLU has a call tool specifically for Senators; the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has a call tool that directs calls, tweets, facebook posts, and emails to all Members of Congress. Individuals can compose letters for delivery on the Herd on the Hill portal that will be cloud-printed in DC and walked over to the House and Senate.