Young children cry in an audio recording after being separated from their parents. Hundreds of unaccompanied minors peer out of metal cages inside an old warehouse. These are just a few of the viral moments adding to the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.
Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration's new "zero-tolerance" policy.
But you can help. Here are just a few actions you can take to support organizations working with children and protest the policy:
There are many different organizations working to support unaccompanied children who have crossed the border. Here are a few that are accepting donations:
ActBlue: ActBlue will divide donated funds between 10 different organizations working to protect children separated from their families. Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shared a link to the fundraiser on Monday. She later tweeted that in just a few hours, donors contributed nearly $150,000. Click here to donate.
KIND (Kids in Need of Defense): KIND works to represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in court. Late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel shared a link to the organization's website last week. Click here to donate.
RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services): This Texas nonprofit provides free legal services to immigrants and refugees. It is raising funds to pay bond to get parents out of detention and reunite with their children while awaiting court proceedings. It is also working to ensure legal representation for every child in Texas immigration courts. A fundraiser by a California couple for the organization has already raised more than $2.7 million.
Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project: The Florence Project provides free legal and social services to keep families together. The organization's staff has already seen more than 200 cases of family separation this year. This is where you can donate.
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union): The ACLU is currently accepting donations to help defend asylum-seeking parents who were separated from their children. The organization has already raised more than $1 million, thanks to a $288,000 donation from model Chrissy Teigen and her husband, musician John Legend. The couple encouraged their followers to donate last week. Click here to support the ACLU.
Call your representatives
You can call your representatives and tell them to end the separation of families at the border by finding their office numbers online or calling the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Do you speak Spanish and have paralegal or legal assistance experience? The Texas Civil Rights Project is looking for volunteers to help in Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso, Alpine and McAllen, Texas. Volunteers would lead intake efforts and help interview families. Here's the volunteer form.
The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project also provides legal services to detained asylum seekers in South Texas. They are looking for a wide range of volunteers. Find our more here.
Apply to be a foster parent
Consider opening your home to an unaccompanied child by applying to be a foster parent. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops organizes a foster care program throughout the country. You can find out more here. The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee service also provides information on how to become a licensed foster parent. Training generally takes six to eight sessions after the application has been submitted.
The coalition Families Belong Together organize protests throughout the United States to call for an end of separation of children from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. The group announced Monday that a national protest will take place on June 30 at the White House and other U.S. cities.
People interested in hosting an event in their community can sign up here.
Tony-award winning actor Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted his support for Families Belong Together in a tweet last week.
RAICES provides an online toolkit with steps on how to organize an event in your community. Learn how you can organize a protest or attend local events by accessing the toolkit here.