5 Immigrant Rights Volunteer Groups To Join If You Want To Take On A More Active Role
Trump may have recently put an end to the family separation policy that inspired rage across the country and throughout the world, but that doesn't mean that the devastation of the policy isn't still being felt. Thousands of detained children are still in detention facilities with no clear plan by the government as to how they will be reconnected with their families. But if you're looking to get physically involved in the fight to reconnect these detained children with their families, there are several immigrant rights volunteer groups that are looking for volunteer work in the months ahead.
On June 23, the Trump administration finally unveiled its planned resolution for the family separation policy: they will reunite families in the name of deporting them together. According to Vox, this is a less than ideal situation, for multiple reasons. For one, this still could lead to a lengthy amount of time spent in separate detention facilities, as the process of ordering deportations for thousands of people doesn't happen overnight.
Secondly, this provides essentially no happy outcome for parents who do not view deportation as an option, and want to fight for American citizenship. After all, many of the families who have been separated are immigrants seeking asylum from countries where they no longer feel safe.
Right now, these parents have to choose between accepting immediate deportation, or choosing to fight for citizenship and stay separated from their children for an indefinite amount of time. If you think this is unacceptable, there are tons of amazing organizations currently fighting to reunite these families once and for all:
United We Dream
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country that carries out youth-led campaigns across the local, state and federal levels. They have a series of resources for people looking to get involved with immigrant rights across the board, from creating your own campaign to helping immigrants with DACA renewals. You can find their tools and resources for volunteer work here.
The Refugee And Immigrant Center For Education And Legal Services (RAICES) offers an #EndFamilySeparation tool kit which gives you all the resources and information necessary to organize your own community event aimed at raising awareness and inspiring action to reunite immigrant families affected by Trump's policy.
Whether you want to host a fundraiser, support local organizations, or simply learn more about the mission, the tool kit has all the information a volunteer could need to get started.
Texas Civil Rights Center
The Texas Civil Rights Center, which is currently helping represent parents and children who have been separated by United States Customs and Border Patrol officials, is looking for volunteers who can speak Spanish, Mam, Q'eqchi' or K'iche', specifically.
If you don't speak any of those languages, you can sign up for email, Facebook or Twitter alerts from the center, in case they need more volunteers in the future.
Border Angels is a nonprofit that works to protect children and families crossing the Mexico-California border, as well as to provide them with legal resources, water stations, and other resources. The nonprofit is entirely volunteer-based, so it's a great place for you to put your efforts if you're a Californian.
To learn more about different opportunities for volunteering and interning, check out their volunteer site here.
Families Belong Together
Families Belong Together, a campaign aiming to protest the Trump administration's family separation and detention policy, is hosting over 600 events across the country on June 30, 2018, to encourage public gathering and activism aimed to "send a clear message to Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress: Families Belong Together!"
Call Your Elected Officials
Beyond attending local events, donating, or volunteering in person with organizations like the ones listed above, one of the easiest ways to make an impact on the immigration rights battle is to call your elected officials and tell them how you feel. It won't take more than twenty or thirty minutes of your time, and is an efficient way to get involved without ever leaving your house.
You can find out who your representatives are on the Congressional level here, and you can call the U.S. Capital Switchboard to get in touch with your Senator. If you're feeling nervous about the call, you can check out a practice script like this one to get your speech down pat before calling.
Above all, keep in mind that while volunteering is an amazing way to get involved in the fight for immigration rights, there are many ways you can let your voice be heard. From donating to worthy organizations, to calling your officials, to showing up to local events, it all makes a difference. But perhaps the most important thing you can do is show up and vote this fall during the 2018 midterms. Do your research, find out which politicians are representing your beliefs, and support them as actively as possible in their bids for election.