• Author Deb Mayer

Reunite Families -- How You Can Help


Let us not forget for one second that over 2000 children have been taken from their parents at the insistence of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, and no one has a plan to reunite them.

The image that woke the world about the tragedy unfolding at the US southern border as children are being separated from their parents. Read the story about the photo here.

It's been two weeks since Senator Jeff Merkley traveled to Brownsville, Texas to investigate the claim that hundreds if not thousands of Latino children were being separated from their parents as families tried to enter the U.S along its southern border. From The Nation magazine:

When Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley tried to visit a detention center for child immigrants in Brownsville, Texas, last weekend, he was turned away. The Facebook Live video of his journey through the bureaucratic shadows went viral. In the 20 hours after it was shared, it was viewed 1.1 million times.

Eventually, the site supervisor came out—to get the local police to tell Merkley he had to leave the property. Merkley politely complied.

“I think it’s unacceptable that a member of Congress is not being admitted to see what’s happening to children whose families are applying for asylum,” Merkley told the cameras while he waited. “Can you imagine? You come to this strange land.… You’re seeking asylum, and the first thing that happens when you get here is you’re torn away from your parents?… America has never done this before!… The intention is to hurt the children, cause the children trauma and discourage people from seeking asylum in the United States of America.”

Absurd! That a United States Senator is prohibited from entering a government facility housing children forcibly separated from their parent's after having arranged the trip solely for that purpose is more than maddening!

After seeing the video, I immediately called Senator Merkley's office asking how we might help -- individually or as an organization. His office had been deluged with similar requests. His team had arranged the trip to Brownsville with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). A quick call to the Oregon ACLU resulted in an automated response promising to get back to us as soon as possible. It took a while, apparently the ACLU is overwhelmed by requests as well, but today we have an answer. The Oregon ACLU worked with other organizations to make the trip happen. Although both the ACLU and Senator Merkley's office incited that they do not endorse any particular organization, Unidos Bridging Community located in Yamhill County was mentioned as organization advocating for the release of 123 men being held at Sheridan FCI prison. A spokesperson for the organization said that at this time they do not know where the children are. She has heard that some are in Oregon, but that information is not being shared.

Donate ​​

Make a donation to the Oregon ACLU at their website.

You may also donate to Unidos Bridging Community to support their continuing effort to release immigrants being detained in prison.

Update: Does it matter that the crying toddler wasn't separated from her mother at that moment? And if she wasn't, why not? Why are some children separated from parents while others are not? The story behind the story, the TIME magazine cover and a newly published article in the Washington Post cloud the issue. Stop apologizing, media!

Let us not forget for one second that over 2000 children have been taken from their parents at the insistence of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, and no one has a plan to reunite them.


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