It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: having your young children taken away without knowing when, or if, you’ll see them again.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this is reality for many immigrant families on our southern border. The Trump administration has issued a “zero tolerance policy” intended to punish immigrants by making America a hostile place to raise their children. 2,000 children, many of them infants and toddlers, are being held, reportedly in cages, in a large, dark warehouse. Inspectors describe the situation as inhumane, unfair, unconstitutional, and reminiscent of 20th century Japanese internment camps. Workers are being instructed not to pick up or comfort upset children, and there is even footage going around of one border agent mocking and belittling toddlers who are crying out for their parents.
To say that these innocent babies will be scarred by the experience is an understatement. This is emotional trauma. This is terror. This is unacceptable.
When I scroll through the articles on my Facebook page, I can hardly bear to finish them. This administration has worn me down and has made me feel helpless. But one organization is giving regular citizens like me the power to help.
The Refugee Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) has begun a crowdfunding campaign to fight for the rights of those detained at the border. And it’s working.
Over 100,000 people have donated 4.4 million dollars, and the tally grows by $4,000 per minute. This is the fastest growing crowd funding campaign in history. What does RAICES plan to do with the money?
For years, RAICES has been working with some of the most vulnerable members of our society to ensure they receive advocacy and fair legal representation. They have two key goals at this time:
-directly fund the bond necessary to get parents out of detention and reunited with their children while awaiting court proceedings
-ensure legal representation for EVERY child in Texas’ immigration courts (last year, 76% of kids, over 13,000, did not have representation)
Bonds are set at a MINIMUM of $1500, and are usually in the range of $5-10K, even for asylum seekers without any criminal history. We are starting our goal at $1500 and will see how far we get.
I was happy to donate what I could, because every little bit helps. The average donation is less than $50, a drop in the bucket for most people, but the resistance has strength in numbers. We are rising up to show these immigrant families that we will not accept how they are being treated.
In this dark time, the generosity of strangers is giving me hope. We can work together to save these children from further psychological torture. If you’d like to donate, visit the RAICES crowdfunding page.