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Migrant children are being traumatized right before our eyes: Here’s what we can do

Three actions we can take to help right now
photo credit: mypostcard.com
Content Warning

This story may contain descriptions of PTSD symptoms, discussion of child sexual abuse, and the effects of trauma.

This post is going to be different than normal. Typically, I throw in some fun gifs and a healthy dose of humor to talk about trauma and child sex abuse, but this one is different. Right now, we are watching before our very eyes, the most vulnerable children in our country be tortured and traumatized. We know what happens when children experience trauma and how it can affect the rest of their lives.

As of the time I’m writing this, noon on Wednesday June 20th, it is being reported that the President is issuing an exceutive order to end the separation of children from their families at the border. Whether this ends up being true or not, already over 2,000 children have been forcibly taken away from their families at the US border since May.  What we know from the experiences of indigeous people, Japanese-Americans who were internned during WWII, and from Holocaust survivors, the forcible separation of children from their parents causes mental, emotional and physical trauma that reverberates for generations to come. Many of the people at the border are fleeing violence and trauma in their own countries and are seeking safety in the United States, where they are now experiencing the horrific trauma inflicted by the US government.

Here are three things we can do to support immigrant children right now:

1. Donate

Here is a great list from TIME of places to donate, and I also like this list from ELLE.  One of the places I’ve decided to donate is this network of 12 organizations, so that my donation gets split up across these organizations all doing invalubale work. I have set up monthly reoccuring donations so that the organizations can better plan knowing what money to expect, so if you have the capacity to do reoccuring donations that’s always wonderful. As always, every dollar counts, so if $10 is what you have to give, please give it.

2. Call our Senators

From ELLE, “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 and [reunite these families].” As a DC resident and therefore someone without a senator to call, I really appreciate everyone who does call their senators and make their voices heard for all of us.

3. Show up for the immigrants in our communities

There are 11 million people living in the United States who are undocumented. For those of us who may be undocumented or love someone who is, we know that the policies of this current (as well as previous) administration are designed to strike terror in us as we fear our families will be torn apart by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. We must show up for the migrant children at the border, but also for the children who fear that they or their parents could be deported at any time as they live their everyday lives as members of our communities.  I recommend signing up for alerts from United We Dream which can plug you into actions happening in your community. I also recommend googling “Stopping ICE raids in [insert your city]” to see what local organizations are doing and how to get involved. if you live in the DC/Maryland/Virginia region, I definitely recommend plugging into Sanctuary DMV, a regional network that organizes ICE check-in accompaniments, and an ICE rapid response network.

If you’d like to share with me about actions you’re taking in your community, I would love to hear about it, shoot me here.  Thank you to everyone who is taking action in their communities, in their own ways, to show up for vulnerable children.