How To Support Detained Immigrant Families One Year After Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy
On May 7, 2018, the Trump administration officially enacted its "zero tolerance" policy for immigration at the southern border. Though the administration ended its family separation policy soon after and declared it would detain immigrant families together as a unit, the policy's impact didn't disappear overnight. If you want to support detained immigrant families one year later, there are a few ways to help.
After facing national and international uproar, Trump ended his immigration policy of separating families in June last year and replaced it with the practice of indefinitely detaining them together, Vox reported. Immigration law experts have argued, however, that the new policy has its downfalls.
In a report published in June 2018, attorneys told Bustle that Trump's new policy of detaining families together could still leave room for family separations due to ambiguity in his executive order. In fact, the federal government has been given a deadline of six months to identify and reunite thousands of presently unaccompanied immigrant children in detention centers, per a federal judge's ruling in April. According to The Washington Post, there are at least 47,000 cases of unaccompanied minors — from July 1, 2017 to June 25, 2018 — that require the federal government's attention.
If you want to help detained immigrants, the list below provides some options. From calling your representatives, organizing or attending protests to volunteering with advocacy groups, and using social media to create awareness, there are a few actionable steps you can take to show your support for the dignity and safety of immigrant families.
1. Call Your Representatives
In a tweet on Tuesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that it had been a year since the administration enacted its "zero tolerance policy" at the United States and Mexico border. But Clinton added, "Many are still waiting. It is a defining failure of policy and humanity."
You can help detained immigrants by calling your elected officials and asking them to support the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, per Clinton. The legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security to "establish detention standards for each facility" where undocumented immigrants are detained, according to the bill's official text. If you want your representative to support the legislation, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and you'll be connected to your elected official.
2. Attend A Protest
Another way to help detained immigrant families is by attending a protest. Although the family separation policy is not in effect, immigrant rights organizations like Families Belong Together still schedule frequent protests to demand better conditions for undocumented immigrant families in detention facilities. It's worth checking their website to find out about potential rallies in cities across America. can you provide facts about those conditions?
3. Call The Department Of Homeland Security
According to The New York Magazine, the federal government is struggling to reunite immigrant families forced apart by the Trump administration. You can contact the Department of Homeland Security to demand for the safe re-union of these undocumented immigrants by leaving a message at the department's comment line: 202-282-8495.
4. Fundraise For Immigrant Rights Organizations
Nonprofit organizations like Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) often need donations for their advocacy work. If you are able to help, you can fundraise for the center with posts on social media or you can directly donate by going here.
5. Translate For Organizations
Organizations like RAICES also look for volunteers who can help with providing translation services. If you speak Spanish or any other language you think may help, you can offer to volunteer by leaving a message about your language proficiency here: Volunteer@RaicesTexas.org
6. Provide Legal Expertise
If you have professional law training, immigration advocacy centers and nonprofit organizations for human rights could use your expertise. For example, it's worth checking if the Texas Civil Rights Project in McAllen, Texas, is looking for legal expertise from trained attorneys.
7. Organize Your Own Protest
Another way to show support for detained immigrant families is by organizing your very own protest or awareness event in your own area. You can create your own event by posting details on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or whichever platform you think is best.
8. Raise Awareness On Social Media
If you're a frequent social media user, you can use your platform to talk about immigrant rights. You can highlight the names of advocacy groups to help their cause as well, including organizations like the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, and others.
While the number of ways to help in this list may seem small, they cover expansive ground and can help you show your support for detained immigrant families online as well as offline.