Trump’s Post Executive Order & How You Can Still Help

Written by

Kate MacLean

11:00 am

Photo Via The Washington Examiner

The executive order that came last Wednesday afternoon after a month-long national and political outcry over the administration’s zero-tolerance policy surprised everyone. Trump issued the order to stop the separation of children from their parents. He acted in direct response to the growing cry to #keepfamiliestogether. The idea of separating families was one that collectively appalled and galvanized citizens, politicians, and first ladies of all political leanings. A lack of a cohesive and sensible immigration policy has made the particular issue of migrating children tricky for our government. Children cannot be held in jail with their parents, but they also cannot be detained for more than 20 days in a government facility. This is an issue where neither side of the political spectrum has found a sensible solution. In 2014, Obama was detaining families (together) and then was ordered to release them because a court determined the 20-day limit. Trump decided to continue to detain the parents without their children (because of the day-limit). He began his now-infamous zero-tolerance policy in late April and since then, over 2,300 children were separated from their parents. Obviously this didn’t work well, either.

It is heartening to know that no further children will be removed from their parents, but the executive order does not fix this problem and its vagueness only adds more pressing questions to the discussion. How and when will the 2,300 children be reunited with their parents? How long will the Trump administration keep these families detained? What is the policy going forward with incoming children? There is a shocking dearth of information about the current status of these separated children. News reports this weekend surfaced about children being moved to foster care in states like New York. Immigration-rights lawyers predict it will be a logistical nightmare to reunite. Politico reports that the Deptartment of Homeland Security has merely given the detained parents the phone numbers of ICE and ORR to locate their children.

The bottom line is that despite the executive order, these children still need the concerned citizens of this country to fight for them. They need bilingual legal advocates; they need money and resources. They need us to continue to be their megaphone in this country. The administration cannot be relied upon or trusted to advocate for these kids. The concerned among us must continue to act. We need to ensure that these children and future immigrant children are treated with respect, humanity, and dignity and most importantly, kept with their parents.

While it is encouraging to know that Trump’s administration is susceptible to the pressures of the people, it is important to not give up this fight. These children are not yet reunited and there still does not exist a thoughtful federally-sponsored plan to help them. With any or all of these five steps you can help to ensure we protect our most vulnerable.

Donate: The people that can most directly help these kids are those bilingual advocates that work in border states. With your money, they can work to get parents reunited with their kids. They can work with kids to communicate their legal needs, rights, and protections. They can be the eyes and ears on the border to ensure the humane handling of children and their families. There are many great organizations. They have all been historically under-funded. Here a few key ones to remember with your wallet: Raices, KIND, Al Otro Lado, the Texas Civil Rights Project, the Florence Project, and the ACLU along with many others.

Volunteer: If you have the skill and the time, now is your opportunity to volunteer at the border, where your actions can have the most profound impact. Specifically, translators and pro-bono lawyers are needed. But, the aforementioned organizations all have specific volunteer positions they need filling.

Call your representatives: Your representatives want to remain in power, regardless of their political beliefs. For this reason alone, they are responsible to their constituency and they want to foster one that feels heard. You can use simple bipartisan educated dialogue like the one Yes! provides for you. Hot tip: if you get phone-shy, call after 9 p.m. to go straight to voicemail. Leave your demands in a message! If you can, call them every week; call them every day. It takes just 5-10 minutes from your day, and it is a truly impactful way to act.

March: There is a national march to keep families together planned for next Saturday, June 30. There will be sister marches all over the country. Find yours here. Many have wondered in the past few days if the event is to go forward considering the executive order. This matter is far from resolved and the organizers are emphatic in that message. From the organizers: “The executive order that Donald Trump signed today is not a solution to the crisis created by his administration; it keeps kids imprisoned indefinitely, and doesn’t reunite thousands of separated families. But, it does show the administration is reacting to public pressure, so we will continue to increase our pressure for justice at hundreds of events on Saturday, June 30, to say that families belong together — and free.”

Communicate: Now is the time to open dialogue between yourself and members of your community and family with whom you have been unable to agree since 2016. The last few weeks have made it abundantly clear that this is a bipartisan issue. Discuss this with those who may not traditionally share your beliefs. Come to the conversation with empathy, compassion, and a cup of chamomile tea. Remind each other that you can agree on at least one thing: that the children must remain safe, happy, and healthy. Agree to act together to help them in any of the aforementioned ways.

For more on this topic, be sure to read How To Talk To Kids About The Border Crisis

Leave a Comment