Things That Matter

25 Signs From #FamiliesBelongTogether Protests Around The World

On June 30th, 2018, hundreds of thousands of protesters around the world flooded the streets of Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, or even their small home towns to protest the U.S. government’s policy to separate children from their families at the southern border.

More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents since the policy went into effect in April, and people are pissed. Here’s the proof.

1. Tens of thousands rallied outside Los Angeles City Hall.

@MayorOfLA

Democratic representatives have openly opposed Trump’s policy, including the Mayor of L.A., who tweeted, “Tens of thousands of Angelenos rallying to keep families together and stand up for the rights of immigrants. #FamiliesBelongTogetherLA | #FamiliesBelongTogether”

2. Children honestly led the march.

@kathypillsbury / Twitter

It was emotional to show up to these marches and see parents protesting with their children. Meanwhile, we’ve been hearing stories of ICE taking children from their mothers while they’re breastfeeding or deportees listening to their children scream and cry in the room next to them.

???? Boston, Massachusetts

3. “We are NOT animals”

@indivisibleWA2 / Twitter

These protests came just a week after POTUS signed an executive order that prohibits the separation of children from their families at the border. So, what does that really mean?

????Seattle, Washington

4. Kids can now be detained indefinitely.

@IamNotaBERNout / Twitter

The Flores v. Reno Settlement Agreement in 1997 states that children cannot be detained for more than 20 days. According to Vox, the Trump administration has been pointing to this agreement as the reason they had to separate children in the first place.

5. But we all know that’s mierda.

@EjquiujmiPlis / Twitter

The executive order doesn’t even address what the administration plans to do to reunite the children who have already been separated.

6. Hasting-on-Hudson, NY had a silent stroller protest.

@commanderfoley / Twitter

They aimed to rally 2300 parents to bring empty strollers on the march, each to represent one child separated from his or her parent at the border, yet to be reunited.

7. Los Angeles had some solid signs.

@abruinoo / Twitter

???? I can’t believe our President ever even made that face. Or that ICE has already admitted that they have no plans to reunite the families.

8. Caption: “Chicago’s puppet game is strong today.”

@Aragog2017 / Twitter

From an administration that claims to be so pro-life and pro-family, we’d all like to see some proof. Your “thoughts and prayers” have done nothing for us.

9. ???? Seattle, Washington

@tulaholmes / Twitter

Some people brought children’s clothes to incite a human reaction from the administration. TBD to see if it helps at all.

10. “How did you Nazi this coming?”

@PWH3 / Twitter

We’re all wondering if the administration is surprised to see this reaction from around the world, or if they hoped for it so that they could try to overthrow the Flores Settlement, and detain families indefinitely.

11. “It doesn’t say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty”

@SusanDoyle1963 / Twitter

God point.

This weekend’s march also brought with it anger around the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Trump’s Muslim ban, and a Supreme Court Justice’s decision to retire, leaving open another seat for a radical right conservative Justice.

This means everything’s at stake, including Roe v Wade.

12. From Antler, North Dakota…

@KRS_RogueShark / Twitter

These 11 people are excellent reminders that, no matter where you are in the world, you have a voice, and it’s only yours alone to use.

P.S.-I like Lady Liberty’s jacket.

13. To Buenos Aires, Argentina…

@TogetherIntl / Twitter

Keeping children out of detention centers is a no-brainer. It has no political lines. Like they say, “The borders are fake, but the love is real.”

Caption: “Today 30/6 in BUENOS AIRES, Argentina at the US Embassy!”

14. Messages for Melania were rampant.

@evrodriguez125 / Twitter

ICYMI, FLOTUS literally wore a jacket that said, “I don’t really care, do u?” on the back just last week.

Caption: “A message from the rally in Texas. #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch

15. Ventura, CA residents had a solid idea…

@IndivisibleVent / Twitter

Caption: “Signs, chants & cheers energized those who turned out to protest immigration policy that has separated an estimated 2,000 children from their parents after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. #Indivisible”

16. They marched to protest outside an ICE station.

@IndivisibleVent / Twitter

See that American flag? It stands for what we believe in. Traumatizing children and families who are seeking asylum and hope for a better life is unAmerican.

17. Latinos turned out in a big way outside of the White House.

@GuilloMena / Twitter

From children of immigrant parents, to people risking deportation, brave souls came out, just one week after 200 women were arrested for protesting outside the Capitol. These are dangerous times, and it’s more important than ever that we exercise our free speech to keep that muscle strong.

18. The #signart was lit this weekend.

@essdeay / Twitter

On the last day of Pride month, the LGBT community also turned out to support an issue that few can turn away from. Whether or not you were able to make a sign and turn out this weekend, there are other ways you can help.

19. Volunteer if you can.

@EjquiujmiPlis / Twitter

The Texas Civil Rights Project is looking for “volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistant experience.”

Caption: “At the #FamiliesBelongTogether march in Chicago. HOT enough to melt ICE. Police estimate 15k present. #FamiliasUnidasNoDivididas”

20. Donate if you can.

@DawnWatland / Twitter

Organizations like RAICES (the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas), the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights (which advocates for many of the unaccompanied and separated children) and the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee (which organizes to oppose migrant detention) are good options.

Caption: “@waltshaub 100+ in Kalispell, MT!! So proud of our little hometown. #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch”

21. There is money to be made off detaining children.

@cm1347 / Twitter

With the privatization of prisons and detention facilities, there are some seriously dark political forces at play here that literally profit off keeping families in detention facilities, often described as prisons.

Caption: “Meyer family out to ensure families stay together in #cville #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch”

22. Call your representatives.

@TogetherIntl / Twitter

Text DAILY to 228466 to sign up for mobile daily action alerts. In their own words,

“Every morning, you’ll receive a text giving you a simple action to take. It might ask you to watch and share a really good video. Or to text a piece of news to five friends. It might link you to your senator, member of Congress, or another appropriate official for a phone call–one that you can make while you’re walking to the bus stop or brewing your coffee. With a tap of your finger, you can do your part to resist this latest age of extremism in America.

P.S.-This is a rally in Barcelona, Spain. They’re rallying for you to do what they can’t, and utilize your civic duty to be accurately represented in our government.

23. If you can, join the next protest.

@_skylar_moore_ / Twitter

Caption:

“Parkersburg, WV 100 people came out in 90 degree heat.

#FamiliesBelongTogether

#FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch”

24. Speak up on social media if you can.

@auntbec15 / Twitter

Calling your reps is the most effective thing you can do to exact change. Once you’ve done that, take to POTUS’ favorite platform and be sure to use hashtags like #endfamilydetention #FamiliasUnidas #FamilesBelongTogether #StopICE #StopSeparatingFamilies #EndChildDetention.

25. Above all, keep caring & keep voting.

@CESand24 / Twitter

A major rallying call this weekend was, “We Care, We Vote.” Prove it and be sure to let your representatives know that you’re paying attention and you have the power to vote them out if they fail you.

#KeepCaring

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Biden Administration Says Number Of Kids In Border Custody Drops 84% Over Last Month

Things That Matter

Biden Administration Says Number Of Kids In Border Custody Drops 84% Over Last Month

As recently as last month more than 5,000 children languished in jail-like conditions inside U.S. Border Patrol facilities, often for longer than the 72-hour limit set by federal law. But, according to the Biden administration, that number has dropped by 84% as the agencies charged with migrant detention make significant progress.

Questions remain, however, about where these children are being sent to instead and why there remains a need for jail-like conditions in the first place.

The number of kids in jail-like Border Patrol facilities drops 84% compared to March.

The number of unaccompanied migrant children held in jail-like conditions by US Customs and Border Protection dropped nearly 84% in the span of a month, according to a White House official. As of last Wednesday, there were 954 children in CBP facilities, down from a peak of 5,767 on March 28, the official told CNN.

The average time that kids are in CBP custody is now 28 hours, compared to 133 hours on March 28, the official said, a nearly 80% reduction in time spent in Border Patrol detention.

In an interview with NBC News this week, Biden suggested that the situation with unaccompanied children is now under control, saying, “It’s way down now. We’ve now gotten control,” and touted “significant change in the circumstances for children to and at the border.”

In recent weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the care of migrant children, has opened up a string of temporary shelters to accommodate minors. That’s allowed for an increasing number of children being transferred out of border facilities to spaces equipped to care for them at a quicker pace.

The drop in children in custody is a welcome sign given the conditions they faced.

In some cases, children were alternating schedules to make space for one another in confined facilities and taking turns showering, often going days without one, while others hadn’t seen the sunlight in days.

While the administration works to address root causes of migration, it’s also had to contend with growing numbers of children in government custody. As of April 27, there were more than 22,276 children in HHS care, according to government data.

Biden on NBC again warned Central American parents against sending children to the US.”Do not send your kids, period. They’re most — they’re in jeopardy going– making that thousand-mile trek,” Biden said. “And so what we’re doing now is we’re going back to those countries in question where most of it’s coming from and saying, ‘Look, you can apply from your country. You don’t have to make this trek.”

The shift in strategy comes as a new poll shows Americans overwhelmingly support new immigration policy.

A vast majority of Americans approve of the idea of engaging countries abroad to address the causes of migration before it happens, according to a new nationwide poll released Thursday.

Pollster Civiqs found that 85 percent of survey respondents agreed that the United States needs to engage with other countries to address migration patterns.

On a partisan basis, 86 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans, as well as 81 percent of independents, agree with that approach, according to Civiqs, which conducted the poll for Immigration Hub, a progressive immigration advocacy group.

The poll found that 57 percent of Americans accept illegal immigration when the immigrants are fleeing violence in their home countries.

That support is lower for undocumented immigrants who come for other reasons; 46 percent agree with immigrants arriving illegally to escape poverty or hunger, while 36 percent do if the migrants are seeking to reunite with family members, and 31 percent do if the migrants are looking for jobs in the United States.

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Biden Nominates Texas Sheriff Ed Gonzalez To Lead ICE And Here’s Why That Matters

Things That Matter

Biden Nominates Texas Sheriff Ed Gonzalez To Lead ICE And Here’s Why That Matters

For years now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been enforcing cruel and, in many opinions, illegal immigration policies that have affected the most vulnerable among us. And they’ve been doing it without a permanent leader who can be held accountable.

The Trump administration relied on interim leaders and deputy secretaries to head the sprawling and powerful agency. Now, President Biden has nominated a frequent outspoken Trump critic to lead the agency and many are hopeful there could be real change.

The White House has nominated Texas sheriff Ed Gonzalez to lead ICE.

President Joe Biden has nominated a Texas sheriff, Ed Gonzalez, to lead ICE. Gonzalez has been the sheriff of Harris County (parts of Houston, TX) since 2017, leading the state’s largest sheriffs department. He has led a team of 5,000 employees in the position and previously served 18 years with the Houston Police Department, rising to the rank of sergeant, according to his profile on his office’s website.

Gonzalez has also been a vocal critic of elements of former President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement policies.

Gonzalez is the second such critic to be selected by Biden for a senior position in the Department of Homeland Security, following the nomination two weeks ago of Tucson, AZ., Police Chief Chris Magnus to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Gonzalez has long been a voice of reason within law enforcement leading many to be hopeful for change.

During his first term as sheriff Gonzalez ended a program with ICE that trained 10 Harris County deputies to determine the immigration status of prisoners, and hold for deportation those in the country illegally.

As sheriff he also opposed Texas legislation requiring local law enforcement to determine individuals’ immigration status, according to The Texas Tribune. The legislation was viewed as targeting so-called “sanctuary cities.” Gonzalez, like many in law enforcement, said the approach would destroy trust and make their job protecting communities more difficult.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas praised Biden’s pick in a statement Tuesday.

“Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is a strong choice for ICE Director,” Mayorkas said. “With a distinguished career in law enforcement and public service, Sheriff Gonzalez is well-suited to lead ICE as the agency advances our public safety and homeland security mission. I hope the Senate will swiftly confirm Sheriff Gonzalez to this critical position.”

ICE has long been missing a permanent director to lead the agency.

Gonzales would succeed Tae Johnson, who has been serving as acting ICE director since Jan. 13. He previously served as the agency’s deputy director.

ICE has not had a permanent director since 2017. The agency operated with five acting directors under the Trump administration. This comes as the Biden administration has faced challenges at the border, including a surge of unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S.

The announcement of Gonzalez’s nomination comes on the heels of another major announcement from DHS. Mayorkas also announced Tuesday that he has directed ICE and Customs and Border Protection to place new limits on civil immigration enforcement actions in or near courthouses.

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