Today, Juneteenth, is a holiday celebrated across the nation commemorating the end of slavery in America. It is a day to remember and recommit ourselves to eliminating racism and oppression.
Slavery decimated communities, broke families, and separated children from loving parents. This is an intimidation tactic, used across time and across the world, meant to terrorize minority groups. Unfortunately, we are seeing the current administration employing this same tactic right now.
On May 7th, the Trump Administration formalized a policy of forcibly separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Since then, immigration authorities have taken thousands of children from their parents in this way – 66 children each day – some as young as 18 months old.
These parents, many of whom are fleeing violence in the form of domestic abuse, gangs, or political oppression, are not told where their children will be taken or if they will ever see them again. Immigrant parents have come here hoping for a better life for their children, and rather than honor that most fundamental hope, the US government is destroying it.
YWCA Greater Cleveland works with children and adults who have suffered from ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) every day. We know that the consequences of childhood trauma can last a lifetime. Adults with ACEs are more likely to self-harm, become addicted to alcohol or drugs, and to have anxiety or depression. Without support, the effects of ACEs can be a life sentence. It is unconscionable that our government is purposefully and unnecessarily subjecting infants and children to these outcomes.
I encourage you to make the call to Attorney General Sessions, Secretary Nielsen, and your Members of Congress and urge them to end family separation at the border. Below is a phone script you can use to contact your representatives:
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, STATE].
Separating children from their families is traumatic, with lifelong impacts on a young child’s well-being.
I urge the [SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE] to oppose the Department of Justice’s “zero-tolerance” prosecution policy, which has resulted in the Department of Homeland Security traumatically separating hundreds of children from their parents, with long-term consequences for their health and development.
Instead, I ask you to support a policy that keeps families together.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
Rob Portman (R): 202-224-3353
Sherrod Brown (D): 202-224-2315
Ohio’s 1st district: Steve Chabot (R): (202) 225-2216
Ohio’s 2nd district: Brad Wenstrup (R): (202) 225-3164
Ohio’s 3rd district: Joyce Beatty (D): (202) 225-4324
Ohio’s 4th district: Jim Jordan (R): (202) 225-2676
Ohio’s 5th district: Bob Latta (R): (202) 225-6405
Ohio’s 6th district: Bill Johnson (R): (202) 225-5705
Ohio’s 7th district: Bob Gibbs (R): (202) 225-6265
Ohio’s 8th district: Warren Davidson (R): (202) 225-6205
Ohio’s 9th district: Marcy Kaptur (D): (202) 225-4146
Ohio’s 10th district: Mike Turner (R): (202) 225-6465
Ohio’s 11th district: Marcia Fudge (D): (202) 225-7032
Ohio’s 13th district: Tim Ryan (D): (202) 225-5261
Ohio’s 14th district: David Joyce (R): (202) 225-5731
Ohio’s 15th district: Steve Stivers (R): (202) 225-2015
Ohio’s 16th district: Jim Renacci (R): (202) 225-3876