A small child, just four-years old, was sleeping soundly over the New Year's weekend when he was abruptly woken up by feet pounding across the floor and screaming in the house. Then his worst nightmare came true: he was taken away by strangers
A nightmare, right? Never in America? Wrong.
This just happened in Atlanta, Georgia, one of three U.S. cities, in which 121 Central American refugees were abruptly removed from their homes at 4:30 in the morning. Adelina Nichols, a longtime immigrant leader of Atlanta’s Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, told MSNBC: "In many cases, the children were screaming and yelling [at being] woken up by a police officer or ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) officer."
No one should be treated that way. We've all got to stand up against this inhumane treatment of children and families.
This type of treatment is un-American and simply isn't acceptable.
Decency, fairness, and humanity require that we protect the wellbeing of the children from Central America seeking asylum in the United States and ensure that they are granted full due process under the law, including adequate legal representation.
Let’s get one thing straight here: The children from Central America seeking safety on our shores are asylum seekers. They are fleeing what has become known as the Northern Triangle of Central America, parts of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. This region has the most homicides and is considered the most violent in the Western hemisphere.
Our voices are needed right now to say clearly that all mothers and children need to be treated with respect and fairness. Please forward this email around to friends and post the action link to Twitter and Facebook, too. The more of us who take action, the sooner this will be fixed.
Decency, fairness, and humanity, require that we protect the wellbeing of children from Central America seeking asylum in the United States and ensure that they are granted full due process under the law, including adequate legal representation.
It's time for DHS to adopt practices that both respect our laws and the dignity of children seeking refuge in the United States, such as the following:
• Placing child welfare experts and social workers on the border for screening children and other vulnerable individuals; those who've been traumatized by violence should be screened by trained professionals, not by customs border patrol agents.
• Strengthening the court system capacity to review cases and ensure due process.
• Recognizing that it's not unlawful to seek asylum at our borders—children and families seeking refuge at our borders have every right to do so under current law and should not be treated as criminals.
• Upholding the best interest of the child in all decisions involving children.
It's time for all of us to stand up for children!
Contrary to DHS's actions, forcibly removing children from their beds at 4 a.m. is not who we are as a people or a country. We are a better nation that this. We must remain true to our country’s values of treating people who are fleeing for fear of their lives and from horrific abuse with dignity and respect, while ensuring due process under the law.
Thank you for all that you do for all of our families and communities!
-Elisa, Mary, Kristin, Donna, Nate, and the entire MomsRising.org / MamásConPoder.org team
P.P.S. The Obama Administration has just announced
that it is working with the United Nations to help screen migrants fleeing violence in Central America in Central America so that these families are not forced to make the dangerous trek across the U.S.-Mexico border. However, this action does not stop the inhumane raids nor address the refugees already in the U.S. seeking asylum.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of MomsRising.org.
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