Tell your reps to stop separating families at the border
Earlier this month, Jeff Sessions announced a new policy to separate migrant children of asylum seekers from their parents, using them as pawns to force their parents to make impossible choices. According to John Kelly, the children “…will be put into foster care or whatever,” putting them into a child welfare system they should never have to encounter. (In April a report came out revealing that HHS lost track of almost 1,500 children who arrived during the Obama administration as unaccompanied minors. While that is a terrible situation, it is different from this new Trump Administration policy.)
Under past administrations, asylum seekers with children were either granted a hearing date and released, or mothers were detained together with their children (fathers could have been detained separately or deported). While it’s true that administrations of both parties have separated families and deported immigrants, the new Trump policy to treat as criminals 100% of asylum-seeking families is unconscionably cruel.
Under existing law, children encountered at the border can be classified as unaccompanied minors if their parents are prosecuted and detained for criminal charges. In those circumstances, the children are transferred to the custody of the Health and Human Services Department until they can be placed with a guardian. Increased referrals of people suspected of illegally crossing the border would likely make such separations more common.
What you can do:
- Call your House reps, Cornyn and Cruz, and your state legislators. Celeste Pewter has detailed scripts and talking points here >>
- Contribute to the RAICES bond fund to help mothers separated from their children get out of detention and get them back.
- Show up at events in Austin and San Antonio on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Support candidates who will defend democracy
You voted in the primary election runoffs. (Right???) The results are in, and we have our 2018 midterm and statewide candidates. So what’s next? Here are some ways to fight back against the Trump regime between now and November.
- Donate to campaigns. Criss-crossing Texas ain’t cheap, and many candidates have put their careers on hold to run for office.
- Become a campaign volunteer. Candidates need blockwalkers, phone bankers, envelope stuffers—you name it.
- Amplify candidates’ messages: on social media, with friends and family, in person.
This is also a time to reflect on the past two years and to avoid repeating the mistakes that got Trump elected in the first place. Your preferred candidate might have lost. But remember: Our target is autocracy, not each other.
- Wednesday, May 30, 9 AM-1 PM, Sen. Cornyn’s Office (221 W 6th St, 78701) – “A group of moms, parents and decent people” demand #EndFamilySeparation (Facebook event)
- Thursday, May 31, 7-8:30 PM, 1321 Solitaire, Round Rock, 78665 – Grassroots Leadership hosts Shut Down Hutto Canvassing & Outreach Training for practicing how to talk to people about your vision for the community (Facebook event)
- Friday, June 1, 4:30-7:30 PM, Republic Square Park > Brazos Hall – A coalition of grassroots organizations joins a national day of action in response to the weaponization of the immigration system (Facebook event)
- Saturday, June 2, 11 AM-1 PM, A.B.Cantu/Pan Am Park and Recreation Center – Moms Demand hosts a #WearOrange awareness-raising picnic event (Everytown RSVP; Facebook event)
Congress Critter of the Week
What is the line between willful ignorance and absolute rampant ignorance? Rep. Lamar Smith of TX 21 led the Republicans of House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in an extensive exploration of that question during a recent committee meeting.
The meeting was intended to explore the use of technology to mitigate the effects of climate change, but Republicans on the committee seemed to want to use as much of the time as possible on questions about climate science that a 4th grader could answer (we checked). The questions ran from the usual, like denying the the earth is warming or that it’s man-made; to the audacious, like proposing that a global temperature rise of 3 degrees might be a good thing; to the ridiculous, like global sea rise is caused by rocks falling off the cliffs of Dover, into the water… Yes, a congressman said that out loud.
(Some really rough math indicates that submerging Mt. Everest in the ocean would raise global sea level by about 1 cm.)
While the likelihood of rampant ignorance is still strong for Smith and the other Republicans, we can’t help but think that the fact that the oil and gas industry is Rep. Smith’s top source of donations might have something to do with it too.
Moment of Zen
Let Dr. Eyal Simchi’s magic light up your week:
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