Change Sparked Action to Keep Immigrant Families Together
The power of pictures, posts and protests
UPDATE: U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that would keep families together after crossing the American border illegally, while maintaining a “zero tolerance” policy on immigration.
Sparking real change in the world can sometimes come down to a moment in time. The spark can be driven by a charismatic leader – or even an bombastic one – and sometimes all it takes to ignite that spark is a single snap.
When Charlotte Willner posted a story on her Facebook page asking for $1,500 to help some 2000 children – separated from their immigrant parents – it’s fair to say she most likely never expected what would happen over the next four days.
Since June 16th, a little over 150,000 people have raised well over $8million dollars for RAICES – an immigration legal services provider in Texas. That single post by that one individual and this picture have sparked fresh debate among our southern neighbours.
The Facebook Post
“We are collectively revulsed at what’s happening to immigrant families on our southern border. In times when we often think that the news can’t possibly get worse, it does — we learned last night that 2000 children (many of them infants and toddlers) have been separated from their parents in just six weeks under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. These children don’t know where their parents are. Their parents aren’t allowed to communicate with them while in custody. The government hasn’t set up a system to reunite separated parents and children if one or both are ultimately released. In many cases, parents have been deported without their children — sometimes, young children are deported without their parents. Until the election, I think there’s little chance of a political solution to this grave American moral failing. But there is still something we can do. Today we are raising money for RAICES (https://www.facebook.com/raicestexas), the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. 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: -RAICES
-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.”
We’ve Seen it Before
A few years ago we saw the power of picture erupt when this image of Alan Kurdi led to some governments softening their stance towards Syrian refugees.
What U.S President Trump Said
“I want to take a moment to address the current illegal immigration crisis on the Southern Border…it has been going on for many, many decades, and many years and it has its ups and its downs and all we need is good legislation and we can have it taken care of.
We have to get the Democrats go ahead and work with us cause as a result of democrat supported loopholes in our federal laws most illegal immigrant families and minors from Central America
[ Nobody knows how much we are paying for this monstrosity ]
who arrive unlawfully at the border cannot be detained together or removed together, only released. These are crippling loopholes that cause family separation, which we don’t want.
As a result of these loopholes roughly half a million illegal immigrant family units and minors from Central America have been released into the US since 2014 at unbelievably great taxpayer expense.
Nobody knows how much we are paying for this monstrosity that’s been created over the years, legislation that nobody has any idea what they are doing they don’t even know what it means.”
I want to take a moment to address the current illegal immigration crisis on the Southern Border…it has been going on for many, many decades… pic.twitter.com/1F7EK9Ef88
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2018