Words by Shatay Speights
Images, videos and voice recordings of immigrant families being ripped apart at the U.S./Mexico border have sparked outrage and upset throughout the country — and things are getting worse by the hour.
Babies and young children are currently being held in “tender age” centers after being separated from their parents at the border. The daunting visuals of children in tears as they’re being locked in cages are leaving people heartbroken with each new image being released.
This is what happens when a government believes people are “illegal.”
Kids in cages. pic.twitter.com/OAnvr9cl3P
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) June 12, 2018
The Trump administration’s immigration policy states that anyone who is caught illegally crossing the border, even if seeking asylum, are to be detained for criminal prosecution. The unorthodox policy is tearing children away from their parents and housing them in tents that closely resemble concentration camps seen during the Holocaust. While the sitting president sees no issue with his “zero tolerance” policy, it enforces practices that many are calling cruel and inhumane.
This temporary shelter is housing unaccompanied migrant children in the border town of Tornillo, Texas, as the number of family separations surges under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The facility has 360 beds now and can hold up to 4,000 beds, says Texas Rep. Will Hurd. (📸: Getty Images and DHS)
A 2-year-old Honduran girl has quickly become the face of Trump’s new “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, that has led to about 2,000 children being separated from their parents. The toddler and her mother arrived last week at the US border in Texas, where they were stopped by border agents. John Moore, who took the photos, said he doesn’t know what happened to the toddler or whether she was separated from her mother. (📸: John Moore/Getty Images)
Progressive groups around the nation are organizing protests and rallies to fight this policy from the Trump administration. The first rally is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. on June 30 in hopes that it will further mobilize the awareness of the issue and increase public pressure to amend the “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
As public frustration rises, many are seeking out ways to get in touch with members of Congress to express their anger about family separation and other newly enforced immigration policies. There are many resources and websites available that make it easy to find out who your senators or representatives are in Washington.
Find out your representative in the House by entering your zip code on the House website (listed above), and information will be provided about your representative and how to reach them. The easiest way to get in touch with your senator is to call the U.S. Capital Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You will be required to say which state you are registered in and will be connected to the right office thereafter.
In this article the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics explains what this policy does to kids. But if you've ever picked up and comforted a small child, you don't need an expert to tell you.https://t.co/oAGN2ywtmH pic.twitter.com/26ZRrw8eBM
— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) June 18, 2018
BREAKING: The U.S. government released horrifying footage of a child detention center in Texas. Together, we must defeat this inhumane and un-American action. pic.twitter.com/NGUyhQJ6TB
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 18, 2018
In order to search for your representatives in both houses at once, visit Call My Congress. After entering your zip code, information regarding your representative, senators, their full contact details, party affiliations and links to their voting records will be provided.
When calling your respective representatives, be prepared to wait a while until you can actually speak with someone. It’s also imperative to know what you want to say to make the greatest possible impact. The Natural Resources Defense Council has laid out tips on things to say in addition to scripts and references to follow. Feel free to call multiple times a day over several days and put pressure on officials to do whatever necessary to stop the government from separating families at the border.
The Trump administration has left more than 2,300 migrant children separated from their families since mid-April, according to DHS statistics reported by the Washington Post.
In order to see a different outcome, turn your outrage into action!