Wed 12/16: Biggest gift you can give this holiday season – Call Congress to stop ICE from deporting detained children.

These kids are running out of time. They can’t wait out Trump’s last days of destruction.

Over 20 families with young children who are incarcerated by ICE at the Berks and Dilley family prisons are in imminent danger of being deported as early as TODAY. Yesterday, a federal court in Washington D.C. lifted the stay of removal that had been protecting these families from being deported. 

These families were denied the right to seek asylum under Trump administration policies that federal courts have since ruled were unlawful. ICE plans to deport these children to face death or torture in their home country. These families, who are from Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, and Ecuador, have been locked up in unsafe conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The government should correctly apply federal law to allow the families to have their asylum claims heard. The Shut Down Berks Coalition and a coalition of national organizations are requesting urgent Congressional intervention to stop the deportations.

PLEASE MAKE THESE 5 CALLS to these members of Congress and the USCIS to ask them to take urgent action to stop these deportations.

The first three are chairs of House committees with oversight over the immigration agencies to demand that the federal government grant these families a fair review of their asylum claims. The 4th call is to your own legislator, telling them that this issue is important to you and you expect them to do something to help, and the 5th call is to the official at the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) most directly involved in this issue.

We’ve updated some contacts, as some mailboxes were full yesterday and there was a typo on a number. What’s below are minimal scripts to get the facts a staff worker needs to pass on a coherent message to the congressmember. However, on our second round, while confirming contact numbers, we added in some other things that have been on our minds.

  • America’s shameful history of turning away Jewish asylum seekers on the St. Louis ocean liner in 1939, condemning hundreds of them to their deaths.
  • This is the holiday season, for goodness sakes. This is the time of love, charity and mercy, not sending innocents back to possible death. We now know that at least 138 El Salvadorans who were deported after coming to our country for safety have been killed. After Trump is gone, every death of deported asylum seekers will be toted up as a crime against humanity and against all that’s best of America.
  1. Minimal script – Judiciary : I am not a constituent of Rep. Nadler but I’m calling him in his role as Chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, to ask that he urgently intervene on behalf of over 20 immigrant children and their parents in the Berks and Dilley family prisons, who ICE is planning to deport to their deaths as early as today. We are asking Rep. Nadler to contact Jennifer Higgins, USCIS Associate Director for the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate to demand that the families’ asylum applications be fairly adjudicated under the law.
    • Representative Nadler – (202) 225-5635 (leave message on Ext. #3 – Note – Mailbox is full today.) You can also call his Manhattan Office 212-367-7350 or his Brooklyn office 718-373-3198
  2. Minimal script – Immigration: “I am not a constituent of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, but I’m calling her in her role as Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, to ask that she urgently intervene on behalf of over 20 immigrant children and their parents in the Berks and Dilley family prisons, who ICE is planning to deport to their deaths as early as today. We are asking Rep. Lofgren to contact Jennifer Higgins, USCIS Associate Director for the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate to demand that the families’ asylum applications be fairly adjudicated under the law.
    • Representative Lofgren – (202) 225-3072 (leave message on Ext. #1) or if full, call San Jose Office at (408) 271-8700
  3. Minimal script – Homeland security: “I am not a constituent of Rep. Bennie Thompson, but I’m calling him in his role as Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, to ask that he urgently intervene on behalf of immigrant children and their parents in the Berks and Dilley family prisons who ICE is planning to deport to their deaths as early as today. We are asking Rep. Thompson to contact Jennifer Higgins, USCIS Associate Director for the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate to demand that the families’ asylum applications be fairly adjudicated under the law.
    • Representative Thompson – 202) 225-5876 (corrected!)
  4. Minimal script to your own rep: “I am calling from [zip code] on Rep. [___] to urgently intervene on behalf of immigrant children and their parents in the Berks and Dilley family prisons who ICE is planning to deport to their deaths as early as today. We are asking Rep. [___] to contact Jennifer Higgins, USCIS Associate Director for the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate to demand that the families’ asylum applications be fairly adjudicated under the law.
    • Representative Brownley – email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
    • Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348 email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  5. Minimal script to Jennifer Higgins: “I am calling to urge Director Higgins to grant reconsideration of asylum for families detained in family detention centers who are facing immediate deportation. These include more than 20 families with children who have been detained by ICE in the Berks and Dilley family prisons for over a year. Deportation means their lives will be in danger. These families’ asylum applications have not been fairly adjudicated under the illegal policies of the Trump administration. Give them a real oppurtunity to seek asylum.”
    • USCIS Director, Jennifer Higgins: (202) 272-0979
    • Retweet from here.

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