5 Ways to Help Migrant Children and Families at the Border Right Now

Megan Friedman
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Redbook

Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents, thanks to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance policy" when it comes to illegally crossing the border. In the face of this dizzying atrocity, it can be easy to feel helpless. Here are five concrete and efficacious ways you can really help, now.

1. Donate directly to the kids.

Baby2Baby and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) set up a Target baby registry to send bundles of essentials like diapers, wipes, shampoo, and soap directly to immigrant children.

But most charities say the best way to help is through financial donations, not product donations. Well-vetted groups that provide humanitarian aid to migrants include Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an organization with two shelters along the border of the Sonoran Desert, and Border Angels, a volunteer coalition that provides water, free legal help, and emergency services.

2. Support the lawyers fighting for them.

In just one Facebook campaign, more than $4 million has been raised for The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), the largest immigration services legal nonprofit in Texas. By donating to RAICES, you support every aspect of legal aid for immigrant families. The group aims to provide legal services to every released unaccompanied child in the state, which could be around 13,000 kids. They also aim to pay off immigration bonds to free asylum seekers from ICE custody, letting them reunite with their children. In addition to the Facebook initiative, you can also donate directly through their website.

If you want to donate your time, help interview migrants at the border. If you live in a border area, have legal or paralegal experience, and speak Spanish, Mam, Q'eqchi', or K'iche', sign up to volunteer with the Texas Civil Rights Project. The Legal Aid Justice Center also looks for volunteers who live in the Virginia area and can help with translation or administrative tasks.

3. Donate to several places at once.

ActBlue splits your donations between 12 different groups. The nonprofit fundraising platform for liberal causes has set up a page that benefits Al Otro Lado, The Florence Project, Neta, Innovation Law Lab, Fuerza Del Valle, The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, We Belong Together, United We Dream, The Women's Refugee Commission, The ACLU, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, Human Rights First, and La Union de Pueblo Entero. You can donate any amount, and split it however you want between the groups. The campaign has raised more than $1.6 million so far.

4. Call your senator and say this exactly.

There are currently several bills being proposed to fight back against child separation at the border. The ACLU urges people to call their senators to advocate against the Trump administration's current policies. You can check out their website and fill out a form, and the ACLU will connect you to make the call. They'll get you in touch with a congressional staffer, and then they recommend you say, "Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME] and my zip code is [YOUR ZIP]. I'm urging the Senator to denounce Trump's family separation policy and use all of Congress' authority to stop it."

5. Participate in a protest.

On June 30, various advocacy groups are organizing protests across the country against child separation. The main Families Belong Together rally will take place in Washington, but there are other demonstrations happening in cities across the U.S. that day. Check out where and when to protest at MoveOn.org.

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