On December 13th, heart-wrenching reports surfaced that a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala, who had been taken into Border Patrol custody, had died of dehydration, exhaustion, and shock less than 48 hours after authorities at the border took her and her father into custody. All people have the right to seek a safe place to call home, and seeking asylum is protected within U.S. and international law. This tragic and preventable death is part of a broader and deliberately cruel and dehumanizing system that fuels unjust detention, a militarized border, and deportations. As Congress decides how to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the rest of fiscal year 2019, people of faith and conscience must make our voices heard.
Since mid-October, caravans of migrants have been traveling north from Central America through Mexico. The group includes people of all ages, including families and children – many of whom are escaping violence and poverty and seeking asylum in the U.S. and Mexico. But instead of responding with compassion and humanity, the administration has deployed thousands of military troops to border communities and attempted to further restrict migrants’ ability to apply for asylum. In November, President Trump signed a proclamation that bans certain asylum seekers from seeking protection in the United States. Although courts have intervened to block its implementation, this proclamation is cruel, unnecessary, and illegal. The U.S. response to asylum seekers and others seeking protection has life or death consequences for families and individuals who are fleeing violence, desperation, and persecution.
Join us in calling on Congress to protect families and cut funding for detention, deportations, and border militarization.