4 Ways You Can Help #KeepFamiliesTogether

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The abusive immigration detention centers have everyone feeling powerless, anxious and angry. Here are four things you can do to help #KeepFamiliesTogether.

 

  1. Donate to or volunteer at organizations that are helping bring families together.

    A. RAICES

    Featured on the Washington Post for being one of the largest Facebook fundraisers, “RAICES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas.”

    Donate to their Facebook fundraiser.
    Donate to their LEAF Project.
    Donate to their Family Unification and Bond Fund.
    Site
    Facebook

    B. ActBlue – AB Charities
    This site splits your donations among 12 organizations including the ACLU.
    Coordinated by Amanda Litman, cofounder of Run for Something, an organization supporting and backing progressive millennials to run for office.

    C. Informed Immigrant (Local)

    Search your zip code on Informed Immigrant and a list of local organizations that you can donate to or volunteer will appear.

    D. Together Rising
    Featured on UpWorthy, Together Rising works to place your donations in places that will make the most impact. Read this article on where they are currently giving funds to and donate here.



  2. Call your congress representatives.

    Type in your zip code and state in WhoisMyRepresentative.com and they’ll give you a list of all your representatives to contact. However, this will give you a wide list.

    ContactingCongress gives specific representatives local to your area.

    A script to call them and tips on calling are available here.

    Urge them to support the following:
    H.R. 2572 – Protect Family Values at the Border Act
    H.R. 5950/S.2937 – HELP Separated Children Act
    H.R. 2043/S.2468 – Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018.
    Urge them to say NO to the following:
    H.R. 6136 – Border Security and Immigration Reform Act


     

  3. Attend a protest.

    You can search “protest” on Facebook and find some near you. A few are posted on this site Families Belong Together.

    Below are a few protests coming up soon in the Los Angeles area:

    6/22 A Rally to Save the Children!
    6/23 Keep Families Together Rally and Toy Drive
    6/30 Freedom for Immigrants: Keep Families Together!

    7/21 Families Belong Together


     

  4. Email or call contractors who are profiting and coordinating the detention centers.

    According to The Daily Beast, “The children enter the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. ORR puts the children in shelters or foster care. This is where the contractors come in: to help ORR with the logistics of caring for these children. The shelters that house children appear to be operating above capacity.”

    “The contract seeks companies that can develop child-advocacy programs to serve ‘a minimum of 550 minors’ in Brownsville, San Antonio, Houston, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and the New York and D.C. metro areas.”

    I am providing phone numbers as well as emails, though I recommend emailing directly to their CEO or publicist as well as messaging them on social media.

    A. General Dynamics Corp.
    Email:
    pnovakovic@generaldynamics.com and phebe.novakovic@generaldynamics.com 

    General Dynamics’ PR team:
    lryan@generaldynamics.com, Carol.Smith@gd-ms.com, DDuBard@nassco.com, dbarrett@gdeb.com, david.hench@gdbiw.com, Mark.Meudt@gdit.com, laurie.vanbrocklin@gd-ots.com, porterr@gdls.com, rafael.moreno@gdels.com, heinz.aebi@jetaviation.ch, and heidi.fedak@gulfstream.com

    Activist social media organizations Sleeping Giants and Grab Your Wallets, founded by Shannon Coulter, have written about General Dynamics Corp. and MVM Inc. as profiting from detention centers.

    Grab Your Wallets lists specific contact information to companies supporting or profiting from the detention centers.

    B. MVM Inc.
    Email MVM CEO Kevin Marquez: marquezk@mvminc.com.

    (571) 223-4500
    Contact page is here.

    “Federal Contracting databases show MVM was awarded a contract worth up to $8 million over the next five years.” – The Daily Beast.

    C. GeoGroup
    Email CEO George Zoley: gzoley@geogroup.com

    (608) 230-1000
    (800) 993-2262
    Contact page is here.

    As reported on CNBC: “Just look at GEO Group, one of the country’s largest private prison corporations. It donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Trump-aligned super PAC, hosted its annual leadership conference at one of Trump’s golf resorts, and just after Trump’s election — its stock soared. Its shares have gained more than 8 percent this year.

    “In ICE’s FY 2018 budget, it says a “Longer Average Length of Stay (ALOS) will also drive the need for additional detention beds.” Now, GEO Group officials say they expect earnings to rise with increased immigration detention time.”

    They also give donations to Texas congressmen who help fund detention centers.

    D. TRAILBOSS INC
    *Couldn’t find direct emails.
    (907) 338-8243
    Contact page is here.“On May 22, 2018, Trailboss Enterprises, Inc. won a $244,235,071 federal contract from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for transportation services. The place of performance will be in San Antonio, Texas.” – Bloomberg.

    E. Southwest Key Programs

    Email: sanchez@swkey org, jbrooks@swkey.org, mchung@swkey.org, vdelgadosavage@swkey.org, arodriguez@swkey.org, rluna@swkey.org, jnelson@swkey.org(512) 462-2181
    Contact page is here.
    They’ve made more than $458 million off of detention centers.Sample script:
    Hi __, I am (First and last name). I demand that you stop supporting and profiting off of immigration detention centers. I am angry that your company is aiding in the abuse and psychological trauma of children and families.

    (Sign your name).

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to help. These are just a few ways you can make a difference. If you’d like further options, see this article by Joanna Goddard.

 


I hope this helps you feel a little less powerless and relieve some anxiety.
Together we can create change.

Sending you positive vibes,
Founding Editor-in-Chief
The Strange is Beautiful
Shannen

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Words by Shannen Roberts. Featured image by @lazy.beam on Instagram.
Shannen is a Peruvian-American writer, musician and yogi.
Learn more about her here.