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How to Help Migrant Children Who Have Been Separated from Their Parents

This article is about helping children who need us. Children who through no fault of their own, are separated from their parents and living in increasingly terrifying and vulnerable positions. They are victims of circumstances. And again, they are children.

(Photo: Nick Oza/The Republic)

Morals > Law

This article is not a rip on the current administration. I will not join the millions who exclaim their hate for POTUS, for a few reasons:

1. I feel hate is a worthless emotion and expenditure of energy. Instead put that passion to a purpose and create change. See below.

2. We only know a small percentage of what actually goes on. We don't have access to the larger picture, after all, we only know what we're told and what we're able to deduce from puzzle pieces.

To those who bring up legality, and remind folks that the parents of these children shouldn't have broken the law.... please stop. Unless you are proposing a solution that will correct our current immigration policies, your comment fails to solve anything.

Again, these are children. And right now, they need help.

The current situation

The administration calls for a "Democratic law," which requires migrant children and parents to be separated at the border. While parents are often prosecuted, and placed in jail, for trying to cross the border illegally, children are taken from their parents and placed into foster care or government custody.

Separating families at the Border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats. Border Security laws should be changed but the Dems can’t get their act together! Started the Wall. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018

As Vox recently reported, "Between October 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018, at least 2,700 children have been split from their parents. 1,995 of them were separated over the last six weeks of that window—April 18 to May 31—indicating that at present, an average of 45 children are being taken from their parents each day." The volume of separations occurring on a daily basis is truly devastating.

Unfortunately it is becoming more apparent that the so-called "foster care or government custody" is more akin to detention centers, with less than adequate conditions. MSNBC correspondent, Jacob Soboroff, visited one such center, sharing photos of the converted former-Walmart store, which also features a Trump mural. Soboroff wrote:

"This shelter, Casa Padre, is the largest licensed childcare facility of its kind in the country. Nearly 1,500 boys 10-17 in here now. They’re supposed to sleep four to room. Nearly every room has 5. They’ve received a variance from the state because of overcrowding." I’m a part of the first group of journalists to go into the shelter for detained child migrants in Brownsville Texas since the zero tolerance separation policy was announced. 1000+ boys here. Going in right now. More tonight w @chrislhayes on @allinwithchris @MSNBC. #inners — Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) June 13, 2018

We may not have the answers, but we can help. So let's do it.

Here are ways to help migrant parents & children who have been separated at the border.

Support advocacy organizations:

RAICESThis Texas-based organization offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children and families. Donate here and sign up as a volunteer here.

Pueblo Sin FronterasThis organization provides humanitarian aid and shelter to migrants on their way to the U.S. Donate here.

Together Rising: This Virginia-based organization is helping provide legal assistance for 60 migrant children who were separated from their parents and are currently detained in Arizona. Donate here.

Al Otro LadoThis bi-national organization works providing legal services to deportees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, including deportee parents whose children remain in the U.S. Donate here.

The Florence ProjectThis Arizona-based organization offers free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody. Donate here.

Texas Civil Rights Project: This organization has been using legal advocacy and litigation to help families separated at the border. Donate here.

Border AngelsThis California-based organization supports San Diego County's immigrant population and focuses on issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border. Donate here.

NetaThis Texas-based grassroots organization helps asylum seekers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Donate here.

South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)This project of the American Bar Association is currently supporting over 1,000 unaccom­panied children in detention centers across South Texas. Donate here.

Fronterizo Fianza FundThis project, ran by the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, assists families in coming up with the bond amount needed for a detained immigrant to be released. Donate here.

National Immigrant Justice CenterThis Heartland Alliance program fights for policy reform and provides legal services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Donate here.

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy CenterThis El Paso-based organization provides legal representation to migrants who otherwise can't afford it. Volunteer here and donate here.

Additional ways to help: ActBlue Charities has set up a link that allows you to donate to eight different organizations, including the ACLUUnited We DreamKids in Need of Defense(KIND), and the Asylum Seeker Advocacy ProjectDonate here.

Contact your elected officials:

Not sure how to go about this? No worries! Go here or here and input your zip code or state; it will tell you who your elected officials are. Then once you have the names, you can find their contact information here and here.

Contacting Congress could actually have a large impact as there are several senators that have already proposed bills to protect children, such as the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018, or the Keep Families Together Act.

Attend a rally or vigil:

Families Belong Together has organized rallies and vigils in dozens of cities across the country. The purpose of the rallies is to raise awareness of the inadequate living conditions that migrant children are being forced to live in. By attending a protest or rally, members of the public have been attempting to shed a light on what happens when a child is separated from their parent at the Mexico-US border. So check out the link and see if there's a rally or vigil happening near you.

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