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Crisis at the Border: Action Steps We Can Take

I’ve been struggling to come up with circumstances at which children have been wrested from their parents, for reasons other than physical or mental abuse. My list includes, but is not limited to: the Holocaust; slavery; removing American Indian children from their homes; boko haram; abduction of Aboriginal children. Now we have Trump’s administration forcibly taking children from their parents and into detention centers where they are not allowed to be touched, hugged, or kissed.

For many of us, there have been “red lines” all along–when Trump mocked a disabled reporter, bragged about grabbing women. He is demanding billions spent on a wall, bent on destroying the environment and education…it’s an endless list of horrors.

But seeing children taken from parents has gutted me–and I know you share my anguish.

So what to do?

There have been many “Families Belong Together” rallies throughout the country, including a march led by Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who is running against Ted Cruz.

But for those who couldn’t make it to a rally, I put together a list of action steps we can take today. If you know of others, please let me know!

CONTACT REPRESENTATIVES

Pressure elected representatives. There are several bills and resolutions that would prohibit family separations, including the Senate Democrats’ Keep Families Together Act and the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act.

To find your representative, look here and your senator here.  It is not recommended to call out-of-district as elected officials are generally interested in hearing only from their constituents. If you’re lucky enough to live in a blue state (thank you, Massachusetts), calling to yell at Paul Ryan would be a waste of time, but please share with relatives and friends who do live in red or purple states!

When you do call, state your name, that you are a constituent, and are opposed to separating families at the border and you strongly encourage the representative to oppose what is happening/support one of the bills prohibiting forced detention.

CONTACT COMPANIES

This came from a California activist:

We now know the names of two contractors that are coordinating these child concentration camps.

1.) MVM Inc.
2.) General Dynamics

Here are the emails for General Dynamics’ PR team’s (h/t Shannon Coulter at Grab Your Wallet) – as she says, we’re going to make them work for their paycheck:

lryan@generaldynamics.com
Carol.Smith@gd-ms.com,
DDuBard@nassco.com
david.hench@gdbiw.com
Mark.Meudt@gdit.com
porterr@gdls.com
rafael.moreno@gdels.com
heidi.fedak@gulfstream.com
heinz.aebi@jetaviation.ch
laurie.vanbrocklin@gd-ots.com
dbarrett@gdeb.com

Here’s an email template:

Hello,

It has come to my attention that your business is holding immigrant children in jails.

They are children and asylum seekers. They should not be separated from their parents and they shouldn’t be in concentration camps.

Please ask your leadership to back out of this contract as there is no way to justify this.

Thanks,
[You]

And this from Shannon Coulter: Phebe Novakovic, CEO of General Dynamics, has a lucrative contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Her email address is pnovakovic@generaldynamics.com. Bombard her with emails! Also, follow @shannoncoulter for important information about companies doing business with these concentration camps.

READ THIS about a proposed Texas warehouse that would house thousands of immigrant children.

GET DEMOCRATS ELECTED

I’m a strong supporter of Jay Gonzalez, but I know all of us Dems will work together to ensure we have a Democrat in the State House come November.

GRASSROOTS

Sister District Project emerged soon after November 2016 strategic with a targeted focus on critical down-ballot, state races that—if we win—will make it easier to win national elections. SDP supports a portfolio of races, with the strategic goals of (1) flipping Republican-held state chambers (2) holding fragile Democratic majorities in state chambers, and (3) making blue inroads in badly gerrymandered states.

Stay tuned for a postcard party to persuade early voters for SDP’s PA candidate Melissa Shusterman.

>Eight critical groups have mobilized to protect children. ActBlue makes it easy to give to the ACLU and other organizations fighting for kids. Please give as generously as you can!

COMMUNITY

I can’t think of a time when I’ve been more despondent over our future. The sliver of hope I’m grasping onto is that Republicans have also begun to decry what’s happening.

If any of you want to get together for coffee/drinks/hugs/group therapy, my door is always open, you are always welcome.

Let’s use our communal strength to get through this, to fight for our future and for those families.

Linda Levin-Scherz

Comments (1)

Thank you, Linda, for shedding light on this important issue and identifying concrete steps we can take to make a change! In solidarity, Dovie Yoana King (Town Meeting Member- Precinct 7).

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