TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Protect Children and Asylum Seekers

Action Alerts

As this administration is turning away families seeking protection and detaining children in inhumane conditions, people of faith must make our voices heard. All people have the right to seek a safe place to call home. We urge Congress to stop the administration’s attacks against asylum seekers and do everything in their power to see that unaccompanied children and asylum seekers are welcomed in accordance with U.S. and international law. The administration should stop detaining children and families, drastically improve detention conditions, and ensure that asylum seekers have access to legal counsel.

Call Today: Tell Your Senators and Representative to Protect Children and Asylum Seekers
Click “Call Me” on the right-hand side to receive a call that connects you to your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [City, State], and [as a person of faith], I urge you to affirm the right of all people to seek asylum and protection. Central American families – men, women and children – are fleeing to safety wherever they can. I call on you to do everything in your power to stop the administration from returning asylum seekers to harm and detaining children in inhumane conditions. I urge you to support community-based residential care, post-release services, and home studies that offer unaccompanied children a family-based care environment. To turn them away, incarcerate or prosecute them, or to separate families runs counter to our best ideals. My community welcomes asylum seekers and immigrants, and I urge you to do the same.”

Amplify Call to Action on Social Media: Share the same message on social media with your Representatives & Senators! Sample posts are below:

  1. .[@SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE] I call on you to protect all people seeking safety and ensure they are welcomed and protected – especially children. #WithRefugees #GreaterAs1
  2. .[@SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE] I call on you to protect children & asylum seekers – and be bold in choosing moral and justice policies which provide the vulnerable protection. #RefugeesWelcome #GreaterAs1

TALKING POINTS

Congress must hold the administration accountable to ending cruel and inhumane policies

  • The administration has separated children from their parents and violated child and asylum protections. It has justified these cruel policies by claiming that they will deter people from seeking safety in the U.S. The premise that forcing migrants to suffer will deter future migration has been proven wrong again and again, because people are fleeing for their lives. All people have the legal right to seek protection from persecution and violence.
  • Children are dying because of lack of medical care, families are forced to sleep on the ground with no safety or sanitary guidelines are implemented. These conditions are unacceptable, especially for children, pregnant and nursing mothers, and individuals with serious medical conditions. The American Association of Pediatrics has found that family detention facilities do not meet basic standards for children and “no child should be in detention centers or separated from parents.”
  • Children are also being detained for far too long, primarily because of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) requiring information sharing between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which makes family members afraid that if they sponsor children, they will be deported. We demand that the administration immediately revoke this MOA so that children can be released as soon as possible and sponsors are not forced to choose between caring for their children or risking deportation.

Our faith traditions teach us to love our neighbors – not close our doors and turn our backs 

  • Families are fleeing their communities due to violence, desperation, and persecution, and have faced incredible challenges in hopes of seeking protection. They should not be coerced or threatened with family separation or incarceration, either. This is a false, cruel choice.
  • Our government should provide protection for vulnerable families, children, and people seeking safety. “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people.” Isaiah 10:1-2.
  • A moral and faithful approach recognizes the gifts, contributions, and struggles of immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and other vulnerable families and individuals.

We urge Congress to uphold protection and due process for immigrant families and children.

  • Faith communities strongly urge the administration and Congress to support child protections and oppose any proposal that would undermine Flores protections, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) or increase family detention.
  • The administration and Congress should affirm the right of all people to seek protection and ensure that individuals seeking safety are not returned to traffickers and exploitation.
  • Congress should require that instead of detention, the administration utilize community-based residential care, post-release services, and home studies that offer unaccompanied children a family-based care environment.
  • Congress should demand that the administration rescind the MOA that turns HHS into an immigration enforcement agency and prolongs family separation.