Please note: the Executive Order signed on 6/20/18 is still abhorrent. Indefinite family detention is no better than family separation. Children do not belong in cages — whether the same cage as their mothers, or a different one.
Many of the families coming here are running from incredible violence and persecution to seek asylum and a better life for their families. Seeking asylum is not illegal, but these parents are being treated like criminals. They are being arrested and their children are being taken from them, declared unaccompanied minors, and placed in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The number of immigrant children – from babies to teens – now in ORR custody has swollen to over 11,000, and is estimated to hit 30,000 by the end of August. They are being held in tent cities and warehouses, and locked up in juvenile detention centers (two of which are here in the Commonwealth).
LAJC is fighting to get the children held by ORR released and reunited with their families, and to support these families and our entire immigrant community as they struggle through these horrors.
Legal Action: We have won a precedent setting case establishing that children in the custody of ORR have a right to family unity. That case reunited a son, who had been held by ORR for a year and a half, with his mother. And we recently secured the release of a boy who had been in ORR’s “care” in a juvenile detention center in Alexandria to his uncle, who had been frantically trying to get him out for 9 months.
We will continue bringing cases that set precedents and strengthen the right of immigrant families to remain together.
Political Will: We are lobbying politicians to change this policy. As well as rallying against the government organizations implementing this policy, and the private contractors profiting from it (several of whom are Virginia-based defense contractors who have now entered the “childcare” business).
Join us on Friday, June 22nd at 11 am for a Rally at the Department of Justice to Protest Family Separation. Hosted by LAJC, Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, and Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights.
On June 27th we are hosting the Virginia Federal Advocacy Day to End Family Separation, and will be visiting Virginia’s representatives in congress to demand an end to this barbaric practice. If you are a Virginia resident and want more information on joining us, please contact email@example.com
On June 30th we will be kicking off the mass rally on the National Mall with a Virginia Feeder March Against Family Separation on the Capitol Grounds at 10am at 3rd and Constitution NW.
Community Support: Please consider hosting a house party to raise awareness and money to help battle family separation, and sign petitions and postcards to send to our elected officials. Contact Contessa for more information and support planning your party.
Smile and say hello to people who may not look or speak like you. Our immigrant communities are living in fear, let them know that you see them as people worthy of dignity.
Especially now, when it seems that a new atrocity is inflicted on the vulnerable – and by extension on all of us – your support is critical.