Write a Letter to the Editor about Family Separation and Detention
Letters to the editor should include:
- Facts to build an argument
- An emotional hook to pull the reader in
- A call to action to those in power & our fellow citizens
This is a sample letter to the editor on family separation at the border. Feel free to use it to help you craft your own.
These are helpful talking points about family detention prepared by the National Domestic Workers Alliance that you can use to build your letter.
Keep supporting immigrant advocates
We’ve compiled a list of organizations providing direct legal and supportive services for immigrants in Texas, as well as Texas-based organizations working on the border.
Support the Hutto Bond Fund
Our friends at Grassroots Leadership have set up a bond fund for women detained at the Hutto Detention Center. From Grassroots Leadership:
Just outside Austin in Taylor, TX, the Hutto Detention Center is the only all women’s facility in the country for asylum-seekers. Over 500 women are imprisoned there every day, locked up after escaping from violent gangs, domestic abusers, and others’ hatred & prejudice at their sexual identity or ethnicity. Many of the moms who crossed over recently seeking safety, their children cruelly stolen, were sent here.
All bond fund proceeds will be prioritized for these mothers. Funds will support the organizing of courageous people organizing at Hutto and if necessary, at other detention centers on an emergency basis, case by case.
Keep calling your reps
The House may–or may not–vote on a “compromise” immigration bill designed by Paul Ryan this week. So while we continue to urge groups to demand Trump reverse his zero-tolerance policy as quickly as he put it in place (which would end both family separations and the threat of limitless family detentions), it is also important
Here is a sample script and resources to make calls to the House.
In the Senate, both Sens. Cornyn and Cruz have proposals they claim would “end” family detention–both are inadequate proposals. But instead of debating any merits to their bills, we urge you to keep focus on urging the President to act:
The situation is not resolved and pointing to the House’s disorganization is not leadership. The quickest way to resolve this situation is to demand President Trump end the zero-tolerance policy.
As you know, your proposal [for both Cornyn/Cruz] has already met resistance. Children and families looking for help cannot be your bargaining chip. The President has already complicated the matter by telling Congress to give up on immigration reform–and while he won’t admit it, he can resolve this crisis as quickly as he started.
The executive order released last week does not remove the zero tolerance policy and would lead to jailing of immigrant families. That is unacceptable. Family jails is not the answer and I want you to oppose any efforts in the Senate that would create them–but I also urge you stand up to the President’s reckless actions and demand.
Sometimes, it can be easy to lose sight that there are those in Congress who want to work with us instead of against. We thank Representative Lloyd Doggett for the amendment he plans to offer this week to keep federal funds from going to baby jails, one example of many he has taken to try to address the current border crisis.
In addition to urging our friends to watch the Representative’s recent remarks on the House floor, the Board issues the following statement of thanks:
“Representative Doggett is the only congressperson from the Austin area who has demonstrated real compassion throughout this fight, as the rest of our so-called representatives meekly follow the administration and bow down to bigotry. While those who support immigrants—and basic human decency—are currently in the minority in Congress, it is important that we all support, and work with, those trying to do good and put them in the majority this November. That is our only hope to stop President Trump’s relentless attacks on families seeking a better life in America.
We believe that it’s critical to use every opportunity to engage with our lawmakers on matters of policy, especially one as urgent as this. We look forward to all future opportunities to work with partners and affected communities in order to do so.”
|How your voices are making a difference
- Monday, Jun. 25, 10 AM-3 PM, Texas State Capitol, Room E2.014 – Moms Demand Action TX voices support of red flag laws in #TXLege House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Hearing (Facebook event)
- Tuesday, Jun. 26, 8-11 AM, Williamson County Courthouse (710 S Main St, Georgetown) – Grassroots Leadership organizes testimony as County Commissioners consider ending Hutto contract, with likely vote (Facebook event)
- Wednesday, Jun. 27, 7:30-9 AM, Juan in a Million (2300 E Cesar Chavez) – Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin hosts panel discussion of status of family reunification efforts, fundraising, & calls to action (Facebook event)
- Saturday, Jun. 30, 12-3 PM, Texas State Capitol Steps – Families Belong Together and FREE Rally by 20 partner organizations (Facebook event; RSVP link; Website)
Families Belong Together Volunteer Opportunities
Join NETA to deliver food/water to asylum seekers stuck at ports of entry or donate to them here – People currently showing at ports of entry seeking asylum are being denied that right. When they arrive, officers tells them that the port of entry is at capacity and that they’re not processing asylum applicants. This backlog has created long lines of people (+50) who have essentially been living on the bridge, patiently waiting their turn. They’ve been sleeping on the hard concrete floors and have been enduring the Texas heat that reaches up to 110 degrees. Some have been there anywhere from 5 to 17 days, and they arrive with nothing. Join NETA to take these individuals food, water, and other necessities.
Volunteer at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen – Sacred Heart Church is working around the clock to help migrants who have been provisionally cleared and released by Border Protection with temporary papers a future court date (and an ankle monitor in tow). After being processed they are dropped off at the McAllen bus terminal where they wait before leaving to their next destination. The church picks up people from the bus terminal, brings them to their welcome center, and offers them their first warm meal, a bath, a change of clothes, hygiene products, a call home, and assistance with translating their paper work and travel itinerary. They need volunteers to help assist and prepare items for families.
Be a Volunteer Attorney with ProBar or donate to them here – ProBar, the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project. This is a project of the American Bar Association, and they are currently supporting over 1,000 ‘unaccompanied children’ in detention centers. They’re also working hard to reconnect these children with their parents. They’re looking for volunteer attorneys who could help with these children prepare for credible fear interviews (will take several days to a week), and in the longer term help with assistance for bond cases (some of this work could be remote, but would have to be periodically present). I’ve created the google doc above to try to help them identify volunteer attorneys.
Help Texas Civil Rights Project take declarations from families or donate to them here – Everyday, TCRP is taking declarations from families and need help with intake efforts in Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso and Alpine. They’re able to train people and organize legal intakes in these cities. They also need help in McAllen with interviewing families. Note — Volunteers are required to speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistance experience.
Your Moment of Zen
Louboutina the Golden Retriever isn’t just “a dog of the streets of New York City” who wants to hug everyone; she’s also Cesar Fernandez-Chavez’s family.
Funding the Fight
The last few weeks have been extraordinary in both good and ways, but let’s be honest, mostly bad. We’ve all been horrified seeing our government tear children from their parent’s arms and put them in cages. It’s been heartening to see Americans cry out with enough ferocity that even Trump felt the need make a show of pretending to relent.
However, if you’re reading this far down in the email, you’re smart enough to know that THIS ISN’T OVER.
That’s why Indivisible Austin has joined more than 20 organizations hosting the Families Belong Together and FREE Rally this Saturday at the Capitol.
We are expecting THOUSANDS of Texans to join us for a moving day in support of children, refugees, asylees, families separated by Trump’s terrible policies, and more.
Can you help with a donation of any size to help the organizations hosting this event to cover costs?