How to help the kids – updated.

Updated 8/18/18

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~Robert Kennedy, June 6, 1966, Cape Town S. Africa (Thanks, Michelle at Small Deeds Done)

Donate/volunteer here with Immigrant Families Together.

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Donate here, volunteer here to help.

Donate your frequent flyer miles

Hundreds of children remain separated from their families, and it’s looking like the government could care less. One of the ways we can help turn the tide is by donating **frequent flyer miles** (and other needed items) to advocacy groups like Michigan Support Circle: “We help support the reunification of families by providing rides, housing, clothing and other essentials once the families have been released.” We can enquire here for more info. Also, check out hellovuelo

Be a penpal to immigrants in detention

Being in detention is a lonely experience.  In addition to last week’s long list of volunteer opportunities and needed in-kind donations, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (https://www.lirs.org/connect-with-a-pen-pal-in-detention), First Friends of NJ and NY (https://firstfriendsnjny.org/volunteer-2/), and the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (http://www.qdep.org/volunteer/) have pen pal programs, so we and our kids can write letters to immigrants in detention centers.  Visit the individual sites for more information.

Help PROJECT LIFELINE.

Since the US government is either unable or unwilling to provide for basic needs of immigrant detainees – sufficient water, food, hygiene products, blankets and warm clothes, humanitarian relief organization, PROJECT LIFELINE, is declaring the crisis and taking first action to help where our government has fallen short.  They are planning two caravans, one leaving from Houston and another from San Antonio and need to collect enough supplies to fill an 18-wheeler (semi) truck and 20-30 cars / trucks. We can contribute to their Amazon wishlist link, then share with our friends on social media.
Their Facebook page is here and their email is projectlifeline2018@gmail.com.

project lifeline

Donate or voluteer with Project Reunify.

Contact here. Facebook page to share here.

  • To represent all detained minors in the Flores case,
  • To locate forcibly separated immigrant children,
  • Conduct legal & mental health interviews,
  • Reunite them with their parents and relatives, and
  • Prevent unlawful deportation without hearings.

Babysit.

EveryChildReturned.com gives us another way to bring notice to the displaced families.  “This website contains an evolving list of every location reported by major press outlets to be caring for or placing separated babies and children. We call on concerned citizens to take a shift by choosing a facility near them and making time each week to sit watch — for an hour or a few — until every child has been reunited.”  Let’s take a look and see where we can help.

Talk about it. A lot. Not everyone listens to the news.

According to CBS News, 90% of Democrats polled find the practice of separating kids and families to be unacceptable. Republicans are “more divided” with 39% saying it’s unacceptable and 1 in 5 saying they have not heard enough about it to say either way. If someone in your circle hasn’t heard about this, tell them, and tell them that you’re not standing for it.

Do you have computer skills?

CALLING ALL TECHIES!  RAICES, the Immigrants’ Rights group working to reunite families separated at the border, needs us. We can help build a database to  #ReuniteTheFamilies! They are looking for UX/UE Designers, HTML, CSS, JS, NODE JS, Python, C++, Ruby, Angular JS, Docker, MongoDB, CouchDB, MySQL, Postgres, Riak ESPECIALLY. While the first priority is connecting the adults with legal aid so they can process through the system quickly and be reunited with their children, RAICES is also looking for an advisory board and a list of tech volunteers to call upon for future projects. If we have technology skills, or can refer someone who does we can check out the Crisis Code website and sign up here:  https://www.crisiscode.com/ or contact Erin DeRuggiero at erin@crisiscode.com

Share yourself.

Give detained immigrants hope by becoming a detention visitation volunteer, a Freedom for Immigrants hotline volunteer, or a pen pal. (Postcards to Voters!) Sign up here for opportunities.

Teach your own kids empathy.

With this story pouring out of every smartphone, television and radio in our country, our children may be worried about the idea that kids are being taken from their parents. Parents may need to reassure their kids that they are safe, but there are other topics of conversation that can help our kids keep future children safe. By talking about empathy and kindness with our kids we can raise kind, empathic people who won’t let this happen to the next generation’s children.

Hold corporate collaborators responsible.

Sleeping Giants (who leads the charge against companies who advertise on Breitbart) and GrabYourWallet (aka Shannon Coulter who leads the boycotting of Trump-related products) have discovered the names of two companies are financially benefiting from the child separation policy: : A) MVM Inc. (Twitter: @MVMINC Phone: (571)223-4500), and B) General Dynamics (Twitter: @GDMS “Ethics helpline”: 800-433-8442).  Let’s contact them by phone, Twitter, or by using the email addresses listed here to tell them what we think:

lryan@generaldynamics.com
Carol.Smith@gd-ms.com,
DDuBard@nassco.com
david.hench@gdbiw.com
Mark.Meudt@gdit.com
porterr@gdls.com
rafael.moreno@gdels.com
heidi.fedak@gulfstream.com
heinz.aebi@jetaviation.ch
laurie.vanbrocklin@gd-ots.com
dbarrett@gdeb.com

Here’s an email template helpfully provided by Shannon.

Hello,
It has come to my attention that your business is holding immigrant children in jails. 
They are children and asylum seekers. They should not be separated from their parents and they shouldn’t be in concentration camps. Please ask your leadership to back out of this contract as there is no way to justify this.

Thanks,
[You]

Protest

Check out our events listing for the latest protests in this area. There’s a big one coming up on June 30th.

We had over a hundred people turn out in Ventura for our Families Belong Together Rally. Thanks to all who attended for taking an important step in the fight to help immigrants and their kids…visibly standing up and reminding our community that wrong is being done in our name.

Donate money

We can donate to eight organizations fighting this issue in one step here. This link also has information about each of these agencies if we want to contribute individually.  Congressman Joe Kennedy III‘s campaign is matching the first $25,000 donated.

  • We Belong Together – women for common sense immigration policies
  • United We Dream – the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country
  • Womens Refugee Commission – advocating for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution
  • ACLU – fighting attacks through the legal system

Other organizations that provide lawyers or services to immigrant kids and their parents:

Donate skill

Translators of Meso-American languages.
RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)  needs volunteer translators “who speak Meso-American indigenous languages (e.g. zapotec, nahua, ma’am, quich’e, maya, mixe, mixteco– not Spanish).”  Do you know anybody? They don’t need to be in Texas, or even in the US. They can translate remotely. For more info or to help, email: volunteer@raicestexas.org 

Lawyers: 
The children running for their lives will not have legal support for any potential asylum, or other, hearing they will face. However, attorneys who can provide pro bono legal services for these children can find out how to to help these children here. Lawyers, find out which organizations provide services near you and apply to be added to their list of free legal service providers. Thanks!

Sign up to volunteer with L4GG and/or the L4GG Foundation here.

Lawyers, Paralegals, Law Students!:
A representative of the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project tweeted yesterday afternoon:  Attys, Paralegals, Law Students! If you speak Spanish & can aid detained parents & children in Texas (6-day stint), contact CARA Family Detention Project! The need is urgent! If you don’t speak Spanish but can find an interpreter-partner that wd help too.  If we call into any of those categories, we can learn more here.

Volunteer with SIFI – Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative. Watch the video here.

Immigrants with legal counsel are more than 10 times as likely to succeed in their cases as detained immigrants without a lawyer. Yet, the great majority of immigrant detainees, especially in the Southeast, are not represented.

Nurturing and Caring Foster Care Parents:
When refugee and immigrant children arrive in the United States without a parent or loved one to provide the shelter, security and sustenance they deserve, Catholic Charities is one of the agencies that provides specialized foster care services. This foster care program for children leaving federal detention facilities is extremely important for children who are:

  • Unable to name any family members or appropriate sponsors
  • Facing prolonged immigration cases that make their future uncertain
  • Hindered from returning to their home country in a timely manner
  • Engaged in in-depth interviews or a gradual transition to family reunification
  • At risk for and possible victims of trafficking, trauma or torture

To learn more about becoming a foster parent through Catholic Charities, visit our website here. All foster parents must meet eligibility requirements and pass a background check.

Or check out this group… If you’ve been moved to tears after listening to these babies and you would like to help in a more tangible way, you can keep some of these children in your home. Check out the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service site for more.

Donate money and/or goods.

The Florence Project, in Arizona, has put together a list of items we can send to comfort immigrant and refugee children in this Google Doc.

Find your local refugee resettlement agencies and donate goods here.

Write the appointed officials listed below.

(Print out copies of this letter.)

Our nation has a moral responsibility to protect children and treat them with basic decency, regardless of immigration status. The inhumane practice of separating children from parents as an immigration deterrent must stop. As a taxpayer funding this egregious neglect of duty, I urge you to take full and immediate responsibility for ensuring children’s well-being and safety. Keep families together. Stop locking them up. Sincerely, [name, state] (h/t)

Connect to information.

Join this Facebook group: Comfort For Kids In ICE DetentionA good source of information for immigrants is collated here.