“Imagine getting a call from your six-year-old niece. She’s crying and begging me to go get her. She says, ‘I promise I’ll behave, but please get me out of here. I’m all alone.’” – Aunt of a six-year-old girl taken from her parents at the border.
Separating children from their families causes irreparable harm, including anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Yet, each day, we continue to witness immigrant enforcement policies that separate children from their families. Through investigative news reports, we have seen the children’s look of despair, heard their pleas to be reunited with their families, and have listened to their gut-wrenching screams.
At the same time as we are witnessing children being ripped away from their parents at the border, the administration continues to conduct immigration raids throughout the country, including the Bay Area. We are seeing the devastating effects on immigrant families who have helped define the economic, political, cultural, and social fabric of America. In California, half of our state’s children live in families with at least one immigrant parent. These children will be impacted by these government policies and may suffer the long-term consequences of living with the constant fear of separation from their families.
We have been profoundly disturbed by these actions. For more than 30 years, we have been an active partner that has supported immigrants and their families. What is happening in our country is not simply an immigrant rights issue. It is a civil rights issue. It is a human rights issue. And while it has been politicized, it should be a nonpartisan issue.
We raise our voices along with others across the country to call for an end to inhumane and unjust policies that incarcerate families and separate children from their parents. Join us. Take action.
Give: We have provided recommended giving suggestions below.
Advocate: Call your member of Congress to support families staying together.
- White House public comment line: 202-456-1111
- Department of Justice public comment line: 202-353-1555
- U.S. Senate Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Engage: Show your support on social media (#FamiliesBelongTogether #KeepFamiliesTogether).
Restore our humanity.
CEO, The San Francisco Foundation
We recommend giving to the organizations below. These are nonprofits that our foundation has researched and vetted, including many that we have supported with our own grantmaking dollars.
BAY AREA ORGANIZATIONS
Legal Services for Children – is a Bay Area nonprofit organization that provides free representation, mental health, and case management services to children and youth to stabilize their lives and realize their full potential. They represent detained children and those in removal proceedings.
Central American Resource Center of Northern California (CARECEN) responds to the needs, rights, and aspirations of immigrant families in the Bay Area through direct services, community development, and advocacy. CARECEN leads efforts to protect and provide services to unaccompanied immigrant children.
Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a nonprofit organization that provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas. They have been raising funds to get parents out of detention so that they can be reunited with their children.
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a national organization that engages in policy advocacy. With offices in ten cities, including San Francisco and Washington D.C., KIND trains pro bono lawyers to represent unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings.
ACLU Foundation is a national organization that has defended the civil rights of individuals for nearly a century. Its Immigrant Rights Project is a unit within the ACLU that defends the rights of immigrants and is currently litigating family separation issues.
Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS)* is a national organization that protects the fundamental human rights of refugee women, children, LGBT individuals, and others who flee persecution in their home countries. CGRS is taking the lead in responding to the administration’s attempts to dismantle asylum protections for victims of domestic violence.
* Donations from donor advised funds to Center for Gender and Refugee Studies should be made to UC Hastings College of the Law, with the purpose of “for support of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies.”