WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

28 Jun 2019 | WOLA Statement

4 Ways to Stand up for Migrants and Asylum Seekers Today

Migrants and asylum seekers—in Mexico, at the border, and in the United States—need our voices now. The news from our southern border has been truly heartbreaking. We’ve heard about children held in squalid conditions in U.S. border facilities and detention centers, and we’ve seen gut-wrenching photos of Óscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter Angie Valeria, who died trying to cross the Rio Grande after waiting two months at a U.S. point of entry. Nearly 35,000 other asylum seekers fleeing violence—a number that increases by hundreds each day—are being forced to wait for months in dangerous Mexican border towns, thanks to practices like “metering” and the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Meanwhile, following President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, Mexican immigration and security forces are cracking down on northbound families, detaining and deporting tens of thousands of people.

Now the president is threatening mass raids to target and deport migrants in U.S. cities, which would have unthinkable consequences for communities and families. These raids are an ugly political show meant to inspire terror. It’s clear that the Trump administration intends to break up families and separate countless U.S. citizen children from their parents, as a purported deterrent against more migrants and asylum seekers traveling north.

As part of the WOLA community, you know just how important it is to be loud and unwavering in our opposition to inhumane policies that fly in the face of our values.

The Trump administration’s assault on migrants and asylum seekers is at odds with the values of compassion and humane treatment that characterize the best of the United States. These measures—deterrence through fear, abuse, and massive human suffering—will do nothing to fix our broken immigration and asylum system.

It can feel overwhelming at times. But our voices matter. Together, we have stood up against President Trump’s anti-immigrant proposals, and it has made a difference. Congress continues to block his border wall. Our collective public outcry has blunted the worst family separation efforts. And recognizing the humanity of migrants has fueled demands for a more humane approach on migration and asylum issues, putting pressure on the administration. We all have a role to play to protect migrants and asylum seekers, and we can make a difference.

Here are a few ways that you can help TODAY:

1. Get educated and share: WOLA’s experts are regularly on the ground in the region and at the border. We are also in Washington working closely with policymakers and other advocates, providing fact-based commentaries, workable policy solutions, and timely analysis. Our commentary, analysis, and reporting provides the facts, workable policy solutions, and resources for advocates. Educate yourself, and then share these resources with your friends, family, and colleagues so they too can be well-informed and speak up on behalf of those who need our voices now more than ever. Here are a few recent publications from WOLA:

  • WOLA’s commentary on how to address the crisis at the border.
  • WOLA’s Q&A explaining the implications of the recent U.S.-Mexico agreement on migration, brought about by Trump’s bullying tactics.
  • Our statement on the essential role that public outcry and sanctuary policies must play in resisting the Trump administration’s hateful, anti-migrant agenda.
  • WOLA’s commentary explaining why cutting off aid to Central America is counterproductive and misinformed.

You can also follow WOLA on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our website for regular updates.

2. Call Congress (202) 224-3121: Ask your representatives and senators to support policies that provide funding to Central America, in order to effectively combat the root causes of migration and guarantee the humane treatment of migrants. This includes bills like H.R. 2615, the “United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act,” or H.R. 3524, the “Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act,” both of which take positive approaches to the challenges posed by Central American migration. Urge your representatives in Congress to oppose ICE detention raids and reject efforts to expand ICE’s capacity to hold ever greater numbers of people in detention.

3. Speak up: Raise your voice by joining activists and important members of the immigrant rights community in protest of Trump’s inhumane policies. There are many demonstrations that you can take part in, including the #closethecamps protests taking place on July 2 across the country, as well as the Lights for Liberty nationwide vigil on July 12.

4. Donate: By making a donation to WOLA today, you join us in defending migrants and asylum seekers, and ensure that WOLA will continue to be a voice in Congress, in the region, and at the border, exposing abuses and pushing for policies that respect human rights and dignity. With your support, we can stop the atrocities at our border and make sure they never happen again.

Together, through the Beyond the Wall Campaign, we have fought back against the inhumane policies and actions of the Trump administration at every turn. We have supported asylum seekers by providing critical resources for them and their attorneys, we have ensured congressional support for critical aid to Central America to combat the root causes of migration, and we have stood strong against Trump’s draconian and unnecessary wall.

While the Trump administration attempts to subvert Congress in a push for inhumane, anti-migrant policies, it is critical that our voices remain loud in opposition. This is a crucial time to take action. Call Congress, share the stories of families being affected by these practices, and follow along with WOLA to stay informed.

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