You can take action to end separation of immigrant families

American and pattiot

You can call politicians. You can attend a protest, or two. You can take some action, because taking some action builds the muscle of resistance for more actions. The Take Action section below has a quick and incomplete list of Twin Cities actions, starting with a demonstration at Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

National coverage of immigrant children and family separation continues—see the second section below. For my explanation of the various interrelated issues, start at this blog post.

Minnesota news includes MinnPost’s thoughtful coverage of the Augsburg professor facing deportation, and the Pioneer Press coverage of East Seventh Street’s Latino business boom.

Take Action

Take action to end the separation of immigrant families (Advocates for Human Rights, 5/29/18) Who to call, where to write, and where to gather in protest on the June 1 #FamiliesBelongTogether National Day of Action.

“Actions are being organized around the country. (If you’re in the Twin Cities, lawyers are organizing a meet-up at the Hennepin County Government Center fountain on Friday at noon. Bring your friends. Bring a sign. Bring a lunch. Consider wearing white. There won’t be any program. We just want to gather a big group to show that the community believes America must treat every person with respect.)”

Have you called Congress today re family separation? It’s easy:

“Hi, my name is _____. I want Senator/Rep NAME to know I oppose family separation at the border. Thank you.”

Calling is easy, but if you just can’t do that, send a message via the Twitter handles below.

Demonstration at Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office   6/30 am., Wednesday, May 30

“On Wednesday morning we will be visiting the office of Minnesota’s senior senator, Amy Klobuchar, to demand that she take immediate action to address the human rights abuses of immigrants by the US government.” 

Children and family separation

The Trump administration’s immigration policies are impossibly cruel. That’s the whole point. (Washington Post, 5/28/18)

“Amid growing outrage over the Trump administration’s policyof separating children from their parents when families arrive at the border, many are asking how the administration can be so cruel as to literally tear children from their mothers’ arms. There’s a clear answer, one that runs through all of the administration’s policies on immigration:

“The cruelty is the whole point.”

What separating migrant families at the border actually looks like (Vice, 5/26/18)

“Why do I have to leave? Mami I want to stay with you!” one four-year-old El Salvadorian boy bawled to his mother, known as JIL, as CBP officers took him and his ten-year-old brother away from her in South Texas, according to an affidavit filed by the mother. They were separated in March—before Sessions’s policy even officially launched—but the incident is an example of what is now common practice at the border.

The brothers slept in the same room as their mother back in El Salvador and were too anxious to go to the bathroom without her after witnessing MS-13 gang members beat and threaten her. But once they arrived in the US, the boys were placed in two separate foster homes and held in government custody for over a month without being able to speak with their mother, who remains in Laredo Detention Center, JIL’s attorney Denise Gilman told me.”

Following up on 1,500 missing children in the U.S. (NPR, 5/29/18)

“Steve Inskeep talks to former Obama administration official Cecilia Munoz, who untangles the backstory to the report, and offers her thoughts about the current policy of the Trump administration.

“Let’s disentangle some confusing news about immigration. Here are several intersecting, overlapping news stories. President Trump’s administration vowed to separate migrant parents from their children if they crossed the U.S. border illegally. U.S. officials testified recently that they have lost track of almost 1,500 migrant children in their care. Photos have been circulating on the Internet of detention facilities for children, but some of those photos, it turns out, date back to President Obama’s administration. And President Trump blamed Democrats for the whole thing.

“What’s going on here? ”

Immigrant women, children abused by gangs need our protection (The Hill, 5/24/18) A legal volunteer tells about her week at Dilley detention center in Texas.

“The legal visitation area was filled with moms with kids of all ages. Teenagers with solemn eyes. Playful toddlers. Infants, who nursed as their mothers recounted the awful events that had driven them from their homes. Many children refused to leave their mothers’ sides, even for a moment. Others allowed themselves to play nearby, but always with a watchful eye, and they came running back at the first sign of a tear.”

At the border, my son was taken from me (CNN, 5/29/18) Marina describes how immigration took away her 18-month-old son, after she approached the entry point and asked for asylum. She waited in detention for months before seeing him again.

“On April 3, an immigration judge found that I had a credible asylum claim, and I was released a few weeks later. I was then able to make a request through the Office of Refugee Resettlement that my son be given back.

“On May 2, my son was brought to me after spending two months and 11 days with strangers.”

This is why Trump’s forced separation policy doesn’t work (Daily Beast, 5/29/18)

“First of all, instead of railroading every family into a criminal proceeding, which requires taking children away from their parents, the administration should use discretion in charging immigration violations—especially for asylum seekers who pose no danger.

“Second, the Trump administration should break with previous administrations and provide legal counsel to children. In America, no child should have to defend themselves in the court of law—particularly when their lives hang in the balance. And the administration could use additional alternatives to detention, such as ankle bracelets, check-ins at ICE offices, or home visits, so women can more quickly be reunited with their kids.

“Finally, children should not be housed in border patrol stations or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. ”

Trump administration will fingerprint child migrants’ parents (Reuters, 5/29/18)

“Immigrant advocates said the new policy would discourage parents from claiming their children.

“This policy will undoubtedly make it more likely that qualified sponsors will hide in the shadows, leaving vulnerable young children to languish in immigration jail,” said Rich Leimsider, executive director of the Safe Passage Project, which represents immigrant children in New York, in an email to Reuters.”

Press release: Sen. Tina Smith Leads 23 Senators in Calling to Protect Minor Children Left Alone When Parents are Arrested or Detained By U.S. Immigration Officials (Press release, 5/23/18)

Sen. Smith believes the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections (HELP) for Separated Children Act is necessary because in the past children have been abandoned at home or at school after their parents’ detention, often without information about their parents’ location and without adequate arrangements for their care. “

Minnesota news

Labor shortage is hurting Minnesota’s employment growth (TC Business, 5/29/18)

“Another factor is immigration, which Hine said helped the state’s job growth during the recovery. Federal changes to reduce immigration could also have the effect of cutting Minnesota’s job growth, said Hine.”

With business booming, East Seventh’s Latino business district rivals the West Side (Pioneer Press,5/29/18)

“Consider: There are now four established Latino restaurants on just one block. Three of them have undergone major renovations within the past several years — doubling or tripling in size.

“There are two dress shops, focusing heavily on quinceanera attire. A supermercado. A smattering of other businesses, roughly two-thirds Latino-owned.

“There’s the Mexican Consulate — the only one in a four-state area.

“And there’s the largest Latino-focused social service agency in the state, which will break ground on a $7.5 million expansion — also doubling in size — next month.

“All that on one East Seventh Street block.”

For Augsburg prof, deportation flight brings an unexpected emotion: relief (MinnPost, 5/29/18)

“Whatever his fate in the U.S., Wanyama said he’s relieved that he’s finally able to speak openly about his immigration status without the fear of what others think or say of him.

“That wasn’t the case before just three months ago. Prior to that, Wanyama never really talked about his status with his students or colleagues because he felt that undocumented immigrants are often “stigmatized” and that they’re often made to believe that they broke the law.

“How is that breaking the law?” he asked. “All you have demonstrated is a demonstration to improve your life, and it might be simply economic. Or it could be, like in my case, real fear for your life.”

And in other news

Samantha Bee makes the case for abolishing ICE on Full Frontal (Slate, 5/24/18)

“The segment goes on to delineate how new ICE is, and how the agency prioritizes (often unnecessary) punishment over actual effectiveness. From increased incarceration and prolonged detainment (sometimes of actual American citizens) to sexual abuse in immigration detention centers, ICE isn’t exactly known for its humaneness. Plus, as Bee points out, the agency is just as old as America’s Next Top Model: “You’ve known what smizing is for as long as ICE has existed.”         

‘There’s a perception that Canada is being invaded’ (The Atlantic, 5/26/18)

“Canada has begun granting refugee status to fewer irregular border crossers—that is, people who walk into the country without going through a designated port of entry. Since President Donald Trump was elected, over 27,000 people have crossed into Canada overland. (By comparison, only 2,000 people did this in 2016.) In 2017, the country granted refugee status to 53 percent of such border crossers, but that number was down to 40 percent in the first three months of this year, Reuters reported. Did Trudeau change his mind about Canada’s welcoming posture in general? Or is something else at work here?”

Senators to Trump: It’s do or die time on DACA (Politico, 5/28/18)

“A group of senators in both parties is beginning to restart back-channel talks across the aisle and with the White House in hopes that the chamber will be ready to act if the House or the courts throw the issue back to the Senate this summer. But the Senate isn’t ready to take up the issue after a thoroughly unproductive immigration debate in February, followed by months of radio silence.

“And lawmakers are growing more and more worried the upper chamber could be blindsided by a call to action later this year.”

Trump administration funds sanctuary cities despite pledge, angering supporters (McClatchy, 5/29/18)

“Homeland Security officials said Tuesday that Nielson was bound by a nationwide court order that instructs the federal government not to withhold funding. Despite that, her top aides urged her in the day leading up to the awarding of the grants not to include the money for sanctuary cities, according to the three people, two of whom used to work at the department and remain in close contact with employees.” 


About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet,, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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