5 Ways To Take Action On Detention Centers No Matter How Busy You Are
For the last year plus, migrant detention centers have been at the center of U.S. news. Controversies surrounding the treatment of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border have only ever heightened, making a lot of people feel compelled to help however they can. If you're one of those people, there are many ways to take action on detention centers right now, no matter how busy you are.
The treatment of migrants in detention facilities has received criticism from elected officials and activists who have, at times, lamented what they say is the inhumane treatment of people who are by and large just looking for a way to start a new life. Visitors to detention centers have described unsafe and unsanitary living conditions for children as well as adults.
If you're looking to help, there are organizations that could use your help, and people in power that you can reach out to. Whether it amounts to donating your time, your energy, or your money, there are ways for anyone to get involved in taking action on detention centers, often with just a few clicks of a buttons. If that sounds like you, consider some of the ideas, organizations, and resources below, all which are committed to helping migrants entering the United States.
Reach Out To Your Lawmakers
Many members of Congress have been incredibly vocal about the operation and existence of detention centers meant to house migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
"It’s not just the kids. It’s everyone," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after visiting centers over the course of the last week. "People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress. I brought it up to their superiors. They said 'officers are under stress & act out sometimes.' No accountability."
Members of Congress have the ability to promote legislation, pass spending bills, and bring publicity to the state of current migrant detention centers. Reaching out to your representatives and senators and letting them know how you think tells them not only what their constituents thinks, but can encourage them to also take a stand. There are many tools available online to help facilitate these communications.
Donate to RAICES
One of the most well-known organizations working with migrants at the border is RAICES. The nonprofit provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families, and refugees, according to its website. They have a portal that accepts donations on their website. If you live in Texas, they also accept volunteers.
Take To Social Media
This is the age of social media — just look at the president's reputation for using Twitter for proof. Although sometimes it may feel like screaming into a void, many organizations and lawmakers keep a close eye on what people are talking about online, to see what's tracking, or else what people are buzzing about.
Not only can social media be a useful forum for reaching out to lawmakers, but it's also a rallying point for many activists looking to drive certain conversations. Start out by checking out the #FamiliesBelongTogether hashtag and join in the conversation from there.
Donate To The ACLU
One organization taking a lot of legal steps to help migrants, aside from RAICES, is the ACLU. The organization has a long reputation for suing over legal injustices, and this has remained true under the Trump administration. Donating to the ACLU helps the organization fund its extensive list of lawsuits, some of which directly go to cases involving migrants and migrant children.
Volunteer With Freedom For Immigrants
According to the organization's website, Freedom for Immigrants is accepting volunteers to "support our hotline, translation or interpretation, visiting people in detention, volunteer recruitment, fundraising, hosting and supporting asylum seekers in your community, providing transport, and other opportunities to help end immigrant detention." That's a pretty tangible way to get involved, so if you have the time available, it could be worth a shot to reach out.
Fighting for migrant rights in the United States can seem like a momentous task — and it is — but every bit helps. One key way to get involved is to take action on detention centers — and there are ways that just about anyone can contribute, if they take just a few minutes to do so.