Tuesday, October 20, 2015

National Week of Action to End Family Detention

LWCR invites us to join in a Week of Action to End Family Detention. Since the summer of 2014 the Obama Administration has been detaining thousands of families at so-called “Family Residential Centers.” These families are all fleeing extreme situations in their home countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Instead of being recognized as refugees and protected, since last summer, the Obama Administration has instead been forcing thousands of these children and mothers through for-profit jails. 

In response to this shift in policy, thousands of volunteers from around the country have given their time and energy to defend these families. Volunteers have been working around the clock at the jails, formerly in Artesia, NM, and now in Dilley and Karnes, both in South Texas. The U.S. bishops' conference called for the dismantling of immigration detention May 11, 2015 saying the detention facilities "undermine families and harm children.” To amplify the work happening around the country to end this practice of jailing babies, LCWR and others are calling on supporters to participate in a week of action. The week of action will take place October 19th through the 25th. 
ACTION: Contact the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators and Representative to share your concerns. 
Sample script
Hello, my name is _____________________ and I’m calling from (city, state). As a constituent, I oppose immigrant family detention. Central American families held in US custody are seeking protection from violence, trafficking and domestic violence. Children require specialized medical, educational and legal support that detention facilities cannot provide. I am asking you to speak out against family detention, oppose funding for these facilities and contact the White House to express your alarm over this practice. I want to see all family detention centers closed.
Good and gracious God, we thank you for the gift of families. We are grateful for all of the joy and love that they bring into our lives, and we ask that you provide special protection for all families, particularly those who face hardships as they move in search of a better life. Show mercy to those who travel in danger, and lead them to a place of safety and peace. Comfort those who are alone and afraid because their families have been torn apart by violence and injustice. Open our hearts so that we may provide hospitality for all who come in search of refuge. Give us courage to welcome the stranger as Christ in our midst. Amen

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