I’m neither hopeful nor optimistic, but I don’t want to live a life characterized by anger. It’s why I write, why I move, why I leave. It’s why I value reconciliation, resolution, and reflection.
More often than not, this isn’t enough. I shout my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world. I write strongly worded letters. I rage.
Our Founding Fathers were immigrants. More precisely, they immigrated illegally.
They were the first wave of “illegal” immigrants to claim citizenship in the “new” world. A world that was already inhabited, for the record.
They migrated from Europe, bringing with them their children and families. They separated families under the guise of Christian evangelism.
Through brute force, sheer cruelty, and unmitigated violence they colonized, castrated, and killed our indigenous land owners. They dehumanized darker skinned people in order to create a permanent underclass.
Today, they separate families under the guise of Christian legalism.
In the wake of such cruelty, I hope that we can offer more than thoughts and prayers.
1. Learn about the policy that’s being used by the administration to separate children from families.
The policy touts its goal as a “renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement,” and it’s designed as a zero tolerance policy against “illegal” immigration.
It’s meant to thwart illegal immigration, but families seeking asylum legally, in accordance with U.S. policy, are also being separated, detained, and jailed.
2. Learn about the new bills aimed to curtail this practice:
- Keep Families Together Act: Introduced in the Senate by Senator Dianne Feinstein (California) and Kamala Harris (California) on June 7th. Additional resources can be found here, here, and here.
- HELP Separated Children Act: Introduced in the House by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (California) on May 23rd. Goal: To make it illegal to separate families with small children at the border.
- Protect Kids and Parents Act (Senator Ted Cruz): Introduced by Senator Ted Cruz.
3. Call/write your elected officials.
A. Contact your Representatives and contact both your senators. You can find your elected officials by state or by zip code here.
Here are mine.
- Email Sheila Jackson Lee here.
- Email Ted Poe here.
- Email Senator John Cornyn here.
- Email Senator Ted Cruz here.
B. If you’re new to this, like I am, here’s a template for calling or writing letters to elected officials.
C. You can call the U.S. Congress Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or call the office of your elected official directly.
4. Protest, rally, and march. Join the rally on June 30, 2018.
- A Harvard study identified the precise reason protests are an effective way to cause political change.
- How Protest Works
- Yes, marches can make a difference. It depends on these three factors.
- Join “A Families Belong Together Action” on June 30th—rally around the country and in D.C.
Use the link above to RSVP for the march in Houston, Texas on Saturday, June 30th.
5. Donate to organizations that advocate for immigrants’ rights.
6. Add to this list of Houston-based resources (and add national ones as well).
- Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative
- YMCA International Services- Immigration Department
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
- RAICES: Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services