GALEO: What YOU can do about the border crisis and family separation
June 20, 2018
By: Maria del Rosario Palacios, GALEO Policy Analyst
Many people have reached out to us at GALEO about how to help in Georgia with the current separation of families at the border, the much needed immigration reform, and on how to build up our communities long-term. We have come up with the following ways to help.
The separation of parents and their children at the U.S. Border has peaked since early May, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to prosecute 100% of people who cross the U.S. Border illegally with the “zero tolerance policy” criminalizing what used to civil offenses.
As Vox explains, people who are apprehended while crossing into the U.S. have typically been held in immigration detention and sent before an immigration judge to see if they will be deported, which doesn’t result in them being separated from their families. But immigrants who’ve been referred for criminal prosecution — as the current administration has vowed to do in 100% of cases — get sent to a federal jail and brought before a federal judge to face possible prison time. You can’t be kept with your children in federal jail, and that’s why so many more families are currently being separated.
It’s hard to know how many children have been taken from their families. Reuters reports that family separations were taking place in some cases before May, resulting in approximately 1,800 separations between October 2016 and February 2018. But since the Department of Justice announced their intent to prosecute every single person who crosses the border illegally, that number has increased sharply. According to data provided to Congress by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 658 children were taken from their parents from May 7 to May 21 of this year.
FOUR CONCRETE ACTIONS:
- Join and support a mass mobilization on June 30th here in Atlanta, in Washington, DC and across the country. Join a march on Washington and Families Belong Together rally led by MoveOn and others. GALEO is one of the co-sponsors of the action in Atlanta. Distributed actions will be planned across the country.
- Join GALEO efforts:
- Join GALEO, Follow us on Social Media -Most up-to-date form of communication.Facebook / Twitter / Instagram Get Mobile Alerts: Text “IMMIGRATION” to 864-237 and follow the prompts
- Become a GALEO Member, Membership Dues fund GALEO’s efforts and range from $15 to $250 plus any donation amount you would like to contribute.Sign Up to be a Member HERE!
- Join us for our Second Annual Latino Leadership Summit. A GALEO premier event to educate, empower, and inspire Latino leaders from across the state by conducting workshops, networking sessions, and bringing in panelists & keynote speakers to motivate attendees and educate participants of policy matters in order to positively impact our communities and continue to pave the way for future leaders. Sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/h3txjCkprPQdR9c52
- Apply to our GALEO Institute for Leadership. Join the GALEO Institute for Leadership (GIL) Program overview and dates can be found on our website. Apply TODAY for the 2019 class!
- Join our GALEO Leadership Council, Become part of the GALEO Leadership Council (GLC) – Must be a GALEO member and/or GIL graduate to join. GLC meets once a month. Email Kathy Vega at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Volunteer. Sign Up for Upcoming Events Here! OR email our Civic Engagement Coordinator: Harvey Soto at email@example.com.
- REGISTER to VOTE and then make sure you go out to vote in the 2018 elections. If you have questions or problems, please call us at 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536).
- Call OUR Members of Congress Today! Please take the time to make TWO phone calls today.
- Call our GA Senators:
Senator Isakson, Johnny
DC ph: (202) 224-3643
ATL ph: (770) 661-0999
DC ph: (202)-224-3521
ATL ph: (404) 865-0087
Good morning, my name is ___ and I’m calling from zip code _____.
I’m urging Senator Isaakson/ Perdue to denounce Trump’s family separation policy and use all of Congress’ authority to stop it. In light of recent actions we need strong policy and we need it now. I strongly support S. 3036, the Keep Families Together Act., and urge its immediate enactment. Is Senator Isakson/ Perdue considering support of this legislation? This legislation is intended to ensure that the federal government is acting in the best interest of children, a value which crosses party lines. Please be sure the Senator gets my message. Thank you.
On the two anti-immigrant bills: Please ramp up outreach to Congress ASAP via calls, digital engagement, in-district meetings, and lobbying in DC to dissuade Republicans from voting for the both bills. GALEO opposes both bills.
- United We Dream’s call tool opposing both the Goodlatte bill and Ryan bill: 844-505-3769 directs calls to target House moderates; when folks call the line, they will hear a recording directing them on asks.
- Contribute financially if possible.
- Purchase something off of the Sacred Heart Amazon Wishlist or donate directly to organizations leading this work on the ground and nationally:
- ProBAR and IJP (ProBAR is currently representing 1,000+ kids)
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
- The Florence Project
- RAÍCES #FreeOurFamilies Family Reunification Bond Fund
- National Immigrant Justice Center
- Women’s Refugee Commission
- Texas Civil Rights Project
- Al Otro Lado
- Fuerza del Valle
- Grassroots Leadership
- Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
- Act Blue has aggregated many of these groups into one donation page to support kids at the border.
Thank you for all that you’re doing to keep families together!
This document was compiled by GALEO and the Immigration Hub in collaboration/partnership with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, We Belong Together, the ACLU, America’s Voice, MomsRising, MoveOn, and United We Dream.