Including information from the Indivisible group on actions to take + a link to the local Utah event.
Trigger warning: Graphic descriptions and depictions of violence against immigrants below.
Families belong together.
It’s that simple.
For decades, the United States’ immigration system has been in crisis. 11 million undocumented immigrants who live and work in our communities want nothing more than to contribute more to our country. Of that number, 1.8 million are young people -- Dreamers -- graduating from high school and college with no idea what their future holds. Tens of thousands of families from Central America -- El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras -- flee violence and seeking refuge, with legitimate claims for asylum. And while the media might sensationalize border crossings, nearly half of immigrants who become undocumented are those who arrive with valid visas.
Our antiquated immigration system was never equipped to support them, and our politicians have let them down.
Under Trump, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has had free reign and a blank check to terrorize immigrants and their families. They’ve systematically targeted immigrant communities -- aiming to jail or deport as many as possible in support of the Donald-Trump-Jeff-Sessions-Stephen-Miller-style xenophobic, racist, white supremacist agenda.
And now we’ve seen just how heinous the Trump Administration’s plans were all along.
In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy to prosecute anyone who crosses the border illegally, and advocates braced for the worst. Just weeks into this policy, the country has already watched and listened to too many stories of immigrant parents and their children being separated at the border. Children torn from their parents. Assigned a number. Sent to tents in the desert or to cages in cold, overcrowded warehouses and former Walmarts.
Our country cannot unsee these atrocities. Activists and politicians alike are speaking out and proposing solutions -- but it's critical that we all understand what's on the table, and how we can support what will help, not hurt, immigrant families.
Under activist pressure, Trump signed an executive order that he claims ends family separation at the U.S. border. And just what is Trump’s solution to the crisis he created? Family jails. This is not a solution.
It’s unclear exactly what the impact of this executive order will be, but here’s what we know: It leaves in place the zero-tolerance policy that is causing family separations at the U.S. border, but seeks to get around a court-ordered decree, known as the Flores settlement, that established protections for immigrant children from indefinite detainment by the federal government. In other words, he’s trying to create family jails to hold immigrant children and parents indefinitely. This is state-sponsored child abuse. It means more cages for indefinite periods of times for immigrant families INCLUDING children.
We must continue the fight for justice and resist any attempts of the Trump administration to bandage wrap this continuing humanitarian crisis.
Take action to end family separation at the border:
We have to be honest, things are changing quickly. Even though Trump signed an executive order, there are multiple pieces of legislation moving right now -- two in the House and more to come in the Senate:
Two bad, Republican-sponsored bills in the House (read about them here) are aimed at passing extreme anti-immigrant bills that do nothing to solve the refugee crisis or provide protections for Dreamers. The Goodlatte-McCaul bill radically restructures our immigration system, pays for the border wall, eliminates the diversity visa program, restricts access to asylum, and much, much more. The Paul Ryan proposal is similar to the Goodlatte-McCaul bill and allows for mandatory and indefinite detention of immigrant children and their parents.
In the Senate, there are multiple efforts to address family separation. All Democrats have sponsored Dianne Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act to end family separation at the border. Sen. Cruz (R-TX) and other Republicans, however, are pursuing their own bills that would essentially codify Trump’s executive order.
The most important thing we can do is make sure that none of the anti-immigrant bills in the House and Senate become law. They would result in mass, indefinite detention of immigrant families.
Here’s what we need you to do right now:
→ This week: Read our resource and tell your MoCs to vote NO on bad immigration bills.
→ June 30 (National #FamiliesBelongTogether Day of Action):We’re proudly joining the #FamiliesBelongTogether coalition led by National Domestic Workers Alliance, We Belong Together, ACLU, MoveOn, Women’s Refugee Commission, and others to organize mass mobilizations in DC and around the country. Find the closest (or plan your own!) #FamiliesBelongTogether event to you here.
→ June 29 through July 8 (July 4 recess): MoCs and their staff head home for a few days. That means it your chance to make your MoCs answer to you! Check out our organizing toolkit for more information on how you can start preparing for recess.
What you do in this moment matters
We’re proud of, and inspired by, the Indivisible groups already taking action, declaring that #FamiliesBelongTogether.
Trump’s draconian immigration policies are a threat to us all, no matter where we come from. When we permit inhumane actions on vulnerable communities, we tell the world that we value blind partisanship over common dignity. And we follow the same path that led to some of the darkest moments in America’s history.
Long story short, anyone who doesn’t speak out or turns a blind eye is complicit.
What you do -- what our country does -- in this moment will define a generation. It’s critical that we show up in full force for immigrant families, those already here and those who seek refuge. So make a call. Show up. Increase the pressure.
Thousands of families need you to support their fight.
The Indivisible Team