While President Donald Trump’s June 20 executive order is intended to end the separation of families entering the U.S. at the southern border, there are still no answers for how families already separated will be reunified. The 2,300 children who have been separated will likely be treated as unaccompanied minors and placed in the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s family reunification process until they can be released to an appropriate family member sponsor. Without such a sponsor, they may remain in long-term shelter or foster care facilities. Children traumatized by conditions at home, the journey, separation, detention or other parts of this process will be impacted for years. We need humane and compassionate laws and policies that realize American values of hope and refuge for those in need.
Below are six concrete actions Marylanders can take to engage in try to change these inhumane practices:
Join and support the March on Washington and Families Belong Together Rally on June 30.
Call – Urge your Members of Congress to use Congress’ oversight authority to stop detaining families. To find your elected officials visit www.mdelect.net.
Visit – Lawyer Moms of America is organizing drop-offs of an open letter to district congressional offices on June 29.
Speak out on social media to raise awareness about the administration’s cruel policy. Use the hashtags #EndFamilyDetention #ProtectFamilies
SIGN A PETITION
Kids in Need of Defense has a petition urging the Administration to end long-term, indefinite detention of immigrant children.
A list of organizations working at both the national level and on the ground can be found in Slate’s roundup. For those who wish to donate within the Catholic Charities network
- Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande is working on the ground at the border.
- Catholic Charities USA will distribute the funds to the 21 local agencies assisting unaccompanied youth.
- The Esperanza Center, a program of Catholic Charities of Baltimore, is seeing an increased need for the services they provide to unaccompanied children in Maryland.
- Non-lawyers – The Esperanza Center has opportunities for healthcare providers, interpreters, administrative assistants, ESL tutors, classroom assistants and more.
- Lawyers – Locally, Esperanza Center Immigration Legal Services provides training and mentorship for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, asylum and crime victim representation. You can also sign up with Lawyers for a Greater Good (L4GG) to volunteer to do legal work for immigrants separated from their children.
Read more related stories in the news…
FOX45 has learned some of the children who’ve been taken from their parents at the U.S. border are being cared for here in Maryland. Read more.
From Baltimore Magazine: Local Organizations Struggle to Reunite Families Following Executive Order. Reunification programs worry about the “re-traumatizing” effects on refugee children. Read more.
From the Wall Street Journal: For 30 days, Nila Serrano has been struggling to gain temporary custody of Danny, a Honduran child who was apprehended at the border with his mother last month. Read more.
From the Baltimore Sun: A Honduran woman who has been living in Baltimore for 14 years is seeking permission to take in a young granddaughter who has been separated from her mother at the Southwest Border, she said Thursday. Read more.