UPDATED/ Since the news hit that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admitted to losing nearly 1,500 children in their custody, social media has been inundated with furious citizens demanding to know what happened to the children. Here’s what we’ve learned, and what you can do about it.
One month ago, an official from DHS admitted under questioning in a congressional hearing that the agency could not account for nearly 1,500 unaccompanied minors who arrived at the border, nearly 19% of the minors in their custody.
Then on Monday, the news hit that the government is forcibly separating children from their families at the border.
Then yesterday, the ACLU released a report with horrifying details as to the abuses that children in custody at the border are being subjected to.
The outrage on social media has been festering but it blew over yesterday. #WhereAreTheChildren has been trending non-stop and people are desperate to make these issues widely known, and searching for ways to help.
How you can help
- Contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives. Their job is to conduct oversight of DHS–they must hold DHS accountable. Simply say, “I am outraged by how our government is treating children at the border. What is my Senator/Rep doing about this?” Find your Senators here. Find your Representative here. If you use 5 Calls to contact your reps, they have a script on their system for this issue already.
- The ACLU is gathering signatures to petition Kevin K. McAleenan, Commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection to stop the government from abusing immigrant children. You can find the petition here.
- You can contact ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) directly. Write to them here or call them at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
- NEW: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recommended guidelines for human rights at international borders which you can read here. The reported actions our DHS is taking do not comply with these guidelines. You can contact the UN Office for Human Rights here.
- NEW: Amnesty International has been calling for an end to the U.S. policy of separating children at the border. Their call to action can be found at the end of this post here.
- NEW: Americans of Conscience has a list of 7 other U.S. officials who need to hear from us, plus a script to use. That list is here.
- DEVELOPING: There is a nascent effort to organize #WhereAreTheChildren marches for June 14. Check here for more information.
Being upset about this issue is not enough. Please take action today.