All the things you can do to help end family separations at the border

Keep families together
Keep families together
Image: REUTERS / Patrick T. Fallon
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If you are among the two-thirds of Americans who disapprove of the Trump administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy of separating the children of undocumented immigrants from their parents at the US-Mexico border, you might be wondering what you can do about it.

There’s growing pushback against the policy, both at the grassroots level and among politicians on both sides of the aisle. In this week alone, dozens of prominent Republicans have joined their Democratic colleagues in clamoring for US president Donald Trump to stop the practice. Even if you’re not an elected official, you have a role to play in reversing the separation of thousands of migrant children from their families. Here are a few ways to do that:

Support organizations fighting against the policy

  • The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a preliminary injunction in California to end the practice of family separations and reunite all families currently in ICE custody.
  • You can sign the ACLU’s petition against family separations, or donate to help fund the organization’s legal efforts.
  • The Texas Civil Rights Project is also litigating family separations: The organization filed an emergency request to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of five parents who were separated from their children in South Texas.
  • You can donate here, or join their Generation Justice advocacy network here.
  • If you speak Spanish, Mam, or K’iche’, and have any sort of legal or paralegal training, you can help take declarations from separated families at the border, in McAllen, Texas. Sign up here.
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is one of the leading organizations dedicated to the legal protection of unaccompanied minors who enter the US immigration system alone.
  • You can sign their petition here, or donate here.
  •  The Catholic Charities of Houston are looking for volunteers of all kinds, including babysitters, licensed counselors, shelter volunteers, translators, and mentors.
  • You can fill out their volunteer application here and donate here.
  •  Al Otro Lado, a binational organization that offers legal services to deportees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, is soliciting donations and has a specific list outlining how those donations will be used.
  • You can donate here.
  • eBay has set up a fundraiser and has committed to matching funds raised up to $15,000, benefiting three non-profit organizations at the forefront of this issue.
  • You can donate here.
  • Human Rights First is suing the Trump administration for its policy on behalf of asylum-seekers.
  • You can donate here.

More ways to take action

  • Call your senator. If you don’t know who they are, the ACLU can help you place the call.
  • Urge your member of Congress to cosponsor the following legislation:
  • S. 3036 – Keep Families Together Act
  • R. 2572 – Protect Family Values at the Border Act
  • R. 5950/S.2937 – the HELP Separated Children Act
  • R. 2043/S. 2468 – Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018
  • Attend a non-violent protest. The organization Families Belong Together can help you find one near your area.
  • Become a child advocate. The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights can help train you through the process, which involves visiting the child each week, mentoring the child, accompanying the child to court hearings and other important immigration meetings and interviews, and generally advocating for the best interest of the child.
  • Post on social media. You can help raise awareness and take a stand. Families Belong Together even has some handy graphics you can download and post freely.

If you’re an immigration lawyer

The following organizations have pro bono networks or ways for immigration lawyers to volunteer their time and their legal services to immigrants in need: