Immigration

Greg Abbott, Stand Up

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Last week, the death of a seven-year-old girl in Customs and Border Patrol custody in El Paso made the news as it highlighted the cruelty of current treatment of migrants.

This Guatemalan child had a nearly 106 degree fever and succumbed to dehydration and shock. Few details have been released.

Your DGB for today is to contact Texas Governor Greg Abbott and demand answers and accountability from CBP. Use the handy “I want to share my opinion” button at the link below, because do we ever.

https://gov.texas.gov/contact

Separated Children

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Happy Monday, there are still hundreds of immigrant children living in tent cities after being separated from their parents this past summer. Your DGB for today is to help KIND to advocate for these traumatized little ones.

Kids In Need of Defense has been helping migrant children in many ways over the past decade, but one of their core missions has become crucially necessary in recent months. Founded by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie, KIND’s network of legal experts make sure each unaccompanied child has excellent representation in court. Their educational resources are extensive, which you can find here:

https://supportkind.org/resources/

If that’s too overwhelming (it’s been a tough weekend, we know) you can simply donate here:

https://donate.supportkind.org/give/188892/#!/donation/checkout

Countdown to Midterm Elections: 29 Days

Lobby Mike Coffman

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Your DGB for today is to save a little Colorado girl from deportation.

Four year old Angela Becerra is the adopted daughter of two US citizens: Amy Becerra, who works for the State of Colorado, and Marco Becerra, who works for the federal government. Angela was adopted in Peru in 2017, when the Becerras owned a home there, and her citizenship has been in limbo ever since. It took 13 months for her visa application to be approved and now her immigration case has been denied. Her visa expires on August 31st, at which point she will be at risk of deportation.

The family has visited Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO-6) and asked for help. Keep in mind that Coffman is a facing a tough reelection this November, which could potentially shape the way he handles this crisis. Today, you’ll contact his office and make sure he knows we won’t stand for any outcome other than this family unit staying legally and permanently intact.

https://coffman.house.gov/contact/

 

Help Reunite Children with their Families

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Your DGB for today is to donate to or volunteer for The Young Center, an organization working tirelessly to advocate for migrant children separated from their families. https://www.theyoungcenter.org/volunteer-at-the-young-center/

Today was the deadline for the Trump Administration to reunite children age five and under with their families. It’s missing the deadline. As of today, 105 “tender-age” children are still separated and between 1,425-1,720 total are still without their parents or family members. You can check out the breakdown of the numbers here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/09/the-children-separated-from-their-parents-by-the-numbers/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.00980fcf52e4

These children all need advocates and that’s where you come in. Volunteers with The Young Center will work as child advocates, accompanying the children to their court hearings, visiting with them, and helping the children think through difficult decisions, among other things. Sign up to volunteer through the link above. Not available to give your time? You can also donate or start a fundraising campaign.

The government that is supposed to protect these children is abusing them, and we have to step in and stand up for them. Do what you can to help today.

 

Dirty, Shameful Money

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Your DGB for today is to understand who is profiting from child detention centers.

The following article is a long read, but a critical one, tying the contractors incarcerating children to the banks behind them. Make no mistake, there is big money in private detention facilities, with CEOs of firms making close to a million dollars a year on internment camps. There is value in learning the names of such contractors, as they are not widely known, and also in understanding the role of common household name banks assisting them, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Be sure to read all the way to the graphic showing the web of money, including exact amounts.

https://news.littlesis.org/2018/06/21/who-is-profiting-from-incarcerating-immigrant-families/

One of the important actions you can take, if you use one of these major banks, is to move your money to a local bank or credit union. Switching banks is a huge pain in the ass, but so is being part of a structure of government that forces three year-old kidnapped children to appear alone in immigration court.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/child-immigrants-us-court-border-family-migrant-immigration-trump-latest-melania-a8422101.html

 

 

Thank You Cards

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Your DGB for today is to help RAICES thank their donors by personally writing out thank you cards.

RAICES Texas is an organization working to help refugees and immigrants with legal help, as well as resettlement. https://www.raicestexas.org They’re currently working very hard to reunite children who were separated from their parents at the border by the Trump administration. They need donations to do this work, and for every donation, they send a handwritten thank you card.

That’s where we come in. Right now, they’re asking for 10,000 thank you cards. They’re having card writing parties at their offices in San Antonio, but you can participate from all over the country. You don’t even have to wear pants. Just write the message below on thank you cards, and mail them in a Manila envelope to

 

RAICES

802 Kentucky Ave

San Antonio, TX 78201


Here is the requested message from RAICES:



Date:
Dear (leave blank),

Thank you for your generous donation. With the help of compassionate people like you, RAICES will continue to make a difference in the lives of the families we serve.

Thank you for funding a future where all families are safe!

In Solidarity,

RAICES



If you’d like to do more, you can also donate to the RAICES Leaf Project, which is currently providing representation for unaccompanied children in the United States. You can learn more about the program, and donate here:


https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/leafund

 

Find Your March

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Your DGB for today is to get ready to march to keep families together.

As you likely know by now, our government spent the last month separating children from their parents, siblings, and even loveys, at our southern border.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kids-toys-border_us_5b2a629ce4b05d6c16c99fd7

After weeks of claiming that they were helpless to stop the self-imposed humanitarian crisis, Trump signed an executive order yesterday that ended the policy. What the order didn’t do, however, was dictate how to handle the more than 2,300 children already taken from their parents. No one is sure when, how, or even IF these kids, now spread in shelters across the country, will be reunited with their parents.

Find your local Families Belong Together march here:

https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together_attend1/search/

And take to the streets on June 30th.

 

The US’s Immigration Policy is on Thin ICE

Your DGB for today is to call your elected representatives and demand they do something about ICE’s policy of removing children from their parents at the border and housing them in what looks like dog kennels.

This administration has decided that in an effort to make immigration to the US less appealing to brown people, they are going to remove kids - including babies - from their parents at the border. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Immigrant-families-separated-at-border-struggle-12938759.php These children are getting physically torn from mom and dad and then, according to Chief of Staff John Kelly, put into foster care “or whatever.” That should be disturbing to everyone with a heart.

It’s time for you to get on the horn to your senators and members of congress. Tell them we’re not okay with this kind of treatment of people simply asking for sanctuary. Whether or not it’s legal, it certainly isn’t ethical or moral to split up families as a deterrent to legal immigration.

 

MigraCam

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Your DGB for today is to get the word out about the new app, MigraCam, offered by the ACLU.

It’s no secret that the Trump administration has increased its immigration raids. After a recent raid on a Tennessee meat packing plant, where over 100 people were accused of being here illegally, more than 500 students missed school the next day for fear of another raid. https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/12/us/tennessee-immigration-raid-schools-impact/index.html

MigraCam helps people living in immigrant communities to notify their families if they have been detained in a raid or a traffic stop. It offers features like live streaming, sharing your location with family and friends, notifications of current raids, voice command to open MigraCam, and much more. DGB thinks it’s imperative to get the word out about this much needed app, especially when we are living in a time where Trump and his Fox pals are vilifying immigrants, including those in the caravans that are attempting to seek asylum. You can read more about the caravans and the myths surrounding them here:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/30/us/migrant-caravan-myths-debunked/index.html

 

We Want a DACA Bill and We Want It Now

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Your DGB for today is to contact your Congressmen and Congresswomen and demand we pass a bill for DACA recipients asap.

Last week we asked you to share the stories of Dreamers with your friends and families and anyone in your social media circle. We hoped that this would break down some of the rhetoric that the right had been spewing when they started referring to Dreamers as “illegals.” This week, we need you to go a step further and demand a DACA. We wish we could demand a clean DACA bill, and we can definitely ask for one, but it’s not looking like we will get one. The current bill being tossed around by John McCain and Chris Coons doesn’t hit on Trump’s demands. He wants funding for his archaic wall and an end to family-based immigration, which is actually the reason Donald Trump is even here to begin with. Trump’s very own grandfather, Friedrich Trump, immigrated here in 1885 to join his sister. And that’s not even the only case of “chain migration” in his family. HIS MOM came to the U.S. in 1930, as an unskilled worker from Scotland, to live with her sister who was already here. If Trump were president back when his Opa were trying to come to America, neither his grandpa, nor his mother would have been able to make it. They would have been blocked because of Trump’s desire to ban “chain migration” and because they were both unskilled workers they wouldn’t have made it on the “merit-based immigration” Trump is looking for. Germany and Scotland didn’t send their best.

The bill isn’t perfect, but is does protect Dreamers and is a companion piece to a bill being shared in the House of Representatives that they think has the votes. This new bill also allows for a path to citizenship and we fully support that. And DACA expires in less than a month, so use Resistbot, call, snap, tweet, or drop on by your congress members office and tell them you support Dreamers, and so do the vast majority of Americans, we’re talking like 80+%. And could they pretty please hurry up and pass a bill so we don’t have to read stories of Dreamers’ families being torn apart. The daily news cycle is terrible enough already.  

 

Rosa Maria Hernandez

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Your DGB for today is to help a child with special needs get back home.

The story of Rosa Maria Hernandez is about as heartbreaking as they come.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/26/health/undocumented-child-federal-custody-surgery-trnd/index.html

She arrived in the United States illegally from Mexico with her parents at three months old. Now ten years old, she has cerebral palsy and has the mental capacity of a five year-old. Wait, it gets worse. Recently requiring emergency gallbladder surgery, she was being transported by ambulance in Texas, when border patrol intercepted her at a checkpoint. It gets even worse. Agents followed the ambulance, waited outside her hospital room until discharge, and then detained her instead of letting her go home to her parents in Laredo. Trump’s America is a place where disabled children are detained for seeking medical care.

Rosa Maria is in a juvenile shelter in San Antonio awaiting deportation proceedings, which have yet to be scheduled. The facility is run by the Office Of Refugee Resettlement, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, which can be reached at 202 401 9246 and told to immediately place Rosa Maria back with her parents or another family member.

 

ICE Data

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Your DGB for today is to register your objection with the National Archives and Records Administration for their decision to allow Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to destroy important records as a matter of course.  

As the ACLU says, “Destroying records effectively grants ICE impunity for its abuses, makes it harder for the public to hold ICE accountable in the future, and erases important parts of the historical record.”

This proposed move is par for the course for an administration that has systematically acted to make the country less safe for women, people of color, and other vulnerable populations. And when this same administration aims to detain more immigrants than ever, it’s never been more critical to resist this decision.

Show NARA and ICE that Americans insist our government be accountable and transparent. We don’t want to hear the sound of shredders working overtime in federal detention facilities.

 

Would You Qualify for Immigration?

Your DGB for today is to take this quiz to see if you would qualify to immigrate to the United States under Trump’s new merit based immigration bill.

Donald Trump, along with Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA), can’t wait to upend United States immigration policy. Planned changes would halve green cards issued per year and use some pretty bizarre measurements to judge your value as an immigrant/human being. lf you’ve won an olympic medal, you get 25 points! In order to immigrate here, you would have to meet the minimum of 30 points. (Heads up- DGB staff did not do well. Sad!) Read more about the bill here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/2/trump-backs-immigration-bill-cut-green-card-limits/

Today we want you to take the quiz and share your results with us, as well as your friends. Get the word out that this proposed law is pretty damn classist, as well as cruel, as it also plans to limit permanent resident refugees down to 50,000 a year. The White House says that number is right in line with yearly averages, but this graph from Pew Research begs to differ.

Stephen Miller may not believe in the poem on the Statue of Liberty, but DGB does.

 

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

 

No Mas Muertes

Your DGB for today is to check out the No More Deaths organization.

Immigrating to the U.S. can be a risky undertaking for anyone, but for the poor it’s downright dangerous. None of the typical avenues are available to those that cannot afford the legal help or have existing connections, forcing these people to cross the border on foot via severely hot and dry areas along states like Arizona. And if the harsh terrain is not bad enough, the tactics of the Border Patrol are at their absolute worst in these areas.

The non profit organization, No More Deaths, seeks to help these people. From their website, “The mission of No More Deaths is to end death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands through civil initiative: people of conscience working openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights.” Please go here to find out more about them: http://forms.nomoredeaths.org/about-no-more-deaths/

They have many volunteer opportunities which you can research here: http://forms.nomoredeaths.org/volunteer/faq/

Consider donating. They need clothing, first aid supplies, personal care items, and food. Cash is always appreciated. Addresses and other information can be found here: http://forms.nomoredeaths.org/donate-supplies-or-vehicles/

Mexico is trying to send us their best, let’s do ours to support them!

 

Block the Threat to Sanctuary Cities

Your DGB for today is to breathe into a paper bag until the hyperventilating stops, then donate $1 to the ACLU, which is working its butt off to protect us from the new administration’s flood of anti-immigration policies.

On Jan. 25th, our Tweeter-in-Chief signed an executive order cracking down on so-called “sanctuary cities”: jurisdictions identified as sympathetic to undocumented persons, and where local law enforcement and other officials are less willing to divulge to the federal government the immigration status of people in their communities. The leverage Trump is using? Money, in the form of federal grants. Read here about how he might do it.  

Some officials have reaffirmed their commitment to protect illegal immigrants in their communities, while legal scholars believe that the order itself is unconstitutional 

For the moment the threat remains. If this directive from the White House overcomes the legal challenges to it, and funds start to dry up for sanctuary cities, will local officials’ resolve waver? We have to support the ACLU and make sure we don’t find out.

 

International Migrants Day

Today is International Migrants Day and your DGB is to learn about the contributions migrants provide our country and share with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites. Knowledge is power, friends. Here are a few simple facts you can use to respond to false narratives about undocumented migrants in America today:

 

Undocumented Migrants Pay Taxes. Undocumented migrants pay 12 Billion dollars in taxes to social security  alone, per year. Most of these people will never be able to collect their contributions to social security.  They also pay sales taxes and property taxes, and many pay federal and state taxes.

 

Undocumented Migrants Do Not Drain Welfare Programs. Claims that migrants drain our welfare programs are false. By and large they do not qualify for them. The only exception is education. Only those who are legally documented migrants qualify for most of the benefits.

 

Undocumented Migrants Are Not Taking Our JobsStudies show that immigrants and natives compete for different jobs. Undocumented migrants often do jobs native born Americans do not typically do such as agricultural work, house cleaning, and food service. Native born Americans without high school diplomas tend to seek jobs as cashiers, truck drivers, and janitors.

 

Undocumented Migrants Do Not Bring CrimeImmigrants are less likely to engage in criminal activity than their native counterparts. Using a story of one undocumented migrant who engaged in criminal activity is a political ploy that obscures the facts: by and large undocumented migrants do not pose a threat to society. Building a wall won’t stop the crime being committed by homegrown citizens.


Educate yourself and your circle today to spread appreciation for the rich culture and hard work the migrant community brings to our diverse nation.

 

 

Fight Private Prison Immigration Detention

Your DGB for today is to contact the Department of Homeland Security and urge them to follow in the footsteps of the Department of Justice and stop the use of for-profit prison immigration detention centers.

In mid August of this year, the DOJ announced a decision to end government contracts with private prisons, citing poor prisoner treatment, denial of basic human rights, and ineffective oversight. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, later directed his Homeland Security Advisory Council to evaluate whether the agency should discontinue their use of private detention centers as well. At the end of November, the Council recommended phasing out private contracts. Secretary Johnson now has to decide whether to act on this conclusion or leave the matter to the next Secretary; Trump nominee Gen. John Kelly.

Today we want you to tell the office this can’t wait. You can either email (dhsexecsec@hq.dhs.gov) or call (202-282-8221) the Office of the Executive Secretary and say “I am a concerned citizen calling to urge Secretary Johnson to act on the recommendation of the Advisory Council to end immigration detention privatization before the incoming administration takes office.”

Human rights can’t get stuck in political limbo.