We stand in support of a humane and equitable immigration path, policy, and process for all people. The federal government’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy promises to prosecute all persons who illegally cross the border, which includes individuals who seek asylum. Under the zero tolerance policy, thousands of children were forcibly removed from their families as they were detained for crossing the border. The United Nations called upon the United States to immediately halt the process of family separation indicating that it “amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.” On June 20, 2018 the president signed an executive order to “maintain family unity” as part of the zero tolerance policy. However, the Executive Order does not make provision to (1) reunite families that have been separated, (2) mandate the conditions under which children and families must be detained and/or cared for, or (3) offer a humane path toward legal immigration and citizenship.
As this human crisis continues, there are many ways to get and stay involved:
- Contact your elected officials and demand support for humane and equitable immigration policies and practices, including reunification of families separated through the zero tolerance policy. Specific legislation to consider include:
- S.3036 Keep Families Together Act
- H.R. 5950 Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children Act
- Raise your voice and build solidarity through protest. Moveon.org has a series of protests scheduled throughout the country for June 30, 2018.
- Donate your time and resources to organizations – (lists of organizations may be found in the Slate article listed below)
- Stay informed and participate in dialogues within your community
Melanie Hart is the Director of Social Justice Initiatives at The New School for Public Engagement.
Maya Wiley is the Senior Vice-President of Social Justice at the New School and the Henry Cohen Professor of Urban Policy and Management at The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy.