By Felicia Gustin
We are all feeling outrage over the cruel and inhumane immigration policies that separate families at the border. Trump’s Executive Order is a smokescreen, a distraction, and we have to keep up the pressure. Now is the time to do something. You can turn your anger into action. Do one thing today. Do several things this week. Join with others because collectively we are stronger. Here’s a consolidation of the many lists floating around to give you more information on what can be done.
1. Call the Department of Justice
The comment line is 202–353–1555. Leave a message for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying you demand that the family separation and zero tolerance policies at the border end today. There is no law requiring the separation of babies, toddlers, and children from their families.
2. Contact Members of Congress and State Governors
While this policy is an executive decision by Trump and doesn’t need congressional action, it is important for our elected officials to take action. Ask members of Congress to hold hearings, to make inquiries with DHS and HHS about the implementation of this policy, and to visit detention facilities with media. Congressional members are reviewing various pieces of legislation on immigration reform, including several anti-immigrant bills. Find out who represents you here. Here’s more information and talking points from United We Dream here and Immigration Hub here.
The governors of Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York have declared that they will not expend state resources to separate families, and are withdrawing National Guard troops at the border. Ask your state governor to do the same.
3. Join the National Day of Action on June 30th
Families Belong Together, a coalition of national organizations including National Domestic Workers Alliance, United We Dream, MomsRising, Move On, Kids in Need of Defense, and others, is coordinating a national mobilization on June 30th in Washington, D.C. with similar events happening in cities and towns around the country. To learn more and participate, visit this link. If your organization is interested in partnering, complete the form at this link.
4. Educate Yourself and Your Community, Organization, Workplace, Union, Campus, Place of Worship
Read about the new policies and educate yourself about what is going on. Understand why people are coming to the U.S. Look at history and learn how these policies are actually not new — from removing Native American children from their families and putting them into oppressive boarding schools to taking away babies and children from enslaved African families to sell on the auction block. Share what you learn with others.
Catalyst Project has created this curricula to support non-immigrants to take strategic, effective and accountable collective action in solidarity with immigrant communities toward the end of deportations, detentions, and discrimination: “Immigration Justice Movements in the Time of Trump”.
5. Sign A Petition
Sign and share these with your networks. Here’s one to Donald Trump (via Families Belong Together and the National Domestic Workers Alliance). Sign a letter to Ivanka Trump (via Women’s March), to members of Congress (via Move On), to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (via Kids In Need of Defense). Here’s a petition from the Women’s Refugee Commission.
6. Support and Donate to Organization on the Frontlines
Support immigrant rights groups in your community. Go online to find out who’s providing help to immigrants and volunteer and/or donate to support their efforts. Here are some of the alliances and organizations involved in efforts to support immigrants and impact immigration policy. They all need support, especially donations.
Al Otro Lado
American Civil Liberties Union
Arab Resource and Organizing Center
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
Desis Rising Up and Moving
Families Belong Together
Fronterizo Fianza Fund
Immigrant Youth Coalition
KIND (Kids In Need of Defense)
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center
National Day Laborers Organizing Network
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Pueblo Sin Fronteras
Tahirih Justice Center
Texas Civil Rights Project
United We Dream
Women’s Refugee Commission
7. Do Research and Expose the Companies Profiting from the Child Detention Centers
General Dynamics has a lucrative contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to facilitate the administration’s family separation policies (read about the contract here). Email the CEO of General Dynamics, Phebe Novakovic: email@example.com
Here’s a working document of some of the companies profiting from the child detention centers. Expand and share it and let’s start boycotting, sending letters, making phone calls, occupying offices. Things to look into: Who is the tent manufacturer willing to profit from this? Who is the bed manufacturer? Who is the company willing to handle the data? Who is the food supplier? Who are the other companies willing to profit off the detention of children?
8. Call on Cities and Counties to Divest from the Trump Deportation Machine
#DEPORT ICE is a coalition of advocacy groups striving to make sanctuary protections real in cities and counties across California. They are doing this by championing a municipal ordinance declaring California’s sanctuary cities will not do business with companies that provide data to identify, profile, or target undocumented California residents for ICE. They also ask universities, media outlets, law firms, and other large institutions in sanctuary cities to boycott ICE data broker Thomson Reuters and all of their products.
9. Provide Legal Services, Translation Support, or Be a Child Advocate.
Sign up to volunteer to represent asylum seekers, to spend a week in Texas, or to provide other legal assistance remotely at Lawyers for Good Government, Immigrant Justice Campaign, a project of American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council. Sign up here to become a child advocate via the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.
10. Write Letters to the Editor and Opinion Editorials
Raise your individual or organizational voice in letters to the editor and opinion editorials. MomsRising has an online tool to help you find your local paper and provide you with talking points and guidelines. Click here to start — it just takes about 5 minutes.
11. Provide Information and Talking Points to Your Networks Via Action Alerts and Social Media Messages
Raise awareness on social media by amplifying hashtags or organizing Twitter Town Halls. Find sample tweets here and downloadable graphics and posters here from Families Belong Together. Share a photo or message of support here. Use #EndFamilySeparation and #FamiliesBelongTogether as hashtags.
12. Get Involved in a Direct Action
Mijente, a hub for Latinx communities, has issued a call for immediate direct action; sign up here and Mijente will follow up.
The above was consolidated from information put out by Families Belong Together; Catalyst Project; the MASA Organizing team (Maryam Abdul, Deepa Iyer, and Arjun Sethi), with the guidance of Amanda Baran; SpeakOut; Sleeping Giants; Amanda Arnold at The Cut, Khadija Gurnah and Xochitl Oseguera at Moms Rising, Riti Dhesi, Women’s Refugee Commission, SURJ Bay Area (Showing Up for Racial Justice), among others. GRATITUDE!