My beautiful, precious granddaughter was born on Tuesday July 3, 2018. As I held the sweet, soft, half-Mexican bundle, I thought, “What would I do if officers wearing handcuffs and guns, yelling at me in a strange language, tried to pry her away from me? What would they do to her? Who would love her and cuddle her? Who would give her a world of love and care? How would I ever find her again without resources?”
I looked at my inquisitive, active, happy, five-year-old half-Mexican grandson and thought, “What if he were torn away from me by armed officers who yelled at him in a strange language, confiscated and threw away all of his meager possessions – clothes and toys – so that he was left with a thin sleeping pad, Mylar blanket, and cage walls to stare at all day and all night? No siblings or parents to hug.”
This scenario has been played out in the past month for thousands and thousands of children. They have been ripped from their parents’ and siblings’ arms and shipped off in trains to 100 shelters in 17 states, echoing Nazi tactics and destroying children’s trust, love, and sense of family for generations. Private prisons are benefitting from the $800 per day cost to house children with no changes of clothes, no toys, no sleeping comforts, no entertainment or education, and feed them cooked noodles and water three times a day.
Immigrant children as young as three years old, whose parents were escaping untenable horrors in their native countries, are being ordered alone into American courts for their own deportation proceedings. They are still in diapers and do not understand English.
Below are some ways that you can help. Check AZResist.org for rallies, protests, and events. You are also welcome to attend the next UNCAGE and REUNITE meeting at the LD18 Dems office, Friday July 13, 4-6pm, to join groups that have formed to take specific actions.
- The Florence Project and Refugee Rights Project. This organization provides legal assistance and social services to detained immigrants in Arizona.
- Together Rising Love Flash Mob. The fundraising effort will go to provide bilingual legal and advocacy assistance for 60 children, aged 12 months to 10 years, currently separated from their parents in an Arizona detention center. Their first priority will be to establish and maintain contact between children and their parents, with the ultimate goal of reunification and safety and rehabilitation for the children.
- The Young Center for Immigrant Childrenâ€™s Rights. This organization works for the rights of children in immigration proceedings.
- Kids In Need Of Defense (KIND). This organization works to ensure that no child appears in immigration court alone without representation.
- Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project. They work to prevent the deportation of asylum-seeking families fleeing violence.
Please, please go beyond outrage. Take the next step to action. Outrage in the Trump era is ineffective raging against people who have neither humanity nor compassion. Take action.
Dr Janie Hydrick-Chair