Target: President Obama
Goal: Applaud President Obama’s efforts to protect the welfare of child migrants
From October 2013 to May 2014, forty-seven thousand and seventeen children crossed the southern Texas border without documentation. Marking a ninety-two percent increase, according to a report in the New York Times, this statistic also reflects growing numbers of migrants who are girls and/or children under thirteen-years-old, some of whom have only just learned to walk. Most of the children are traveling from three Central American countries – El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala – and flee to the United States after enduring rising levels of violence and poverty in their home countries. Some also seek to be reunited with their parents who are already in the U.S.
After fleeing their home countries, however, these child immigrants have ahead of them a dangerous journey to the border. To provide one grave example, child migrants often face the threat of being caught up in criminal smuggling networks from Mexico to the U.S. that seek to traffic the children.
Thankfully, President Obama has taken a major step in prioritizing their welfare of these children. He is mobilizing federal agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Association and the Department of Homeland Security in an emergency effort to better care for child immigrants. The initiative is aimed at the point when border officials encounter the children and place them under federal custody, usually in shelters that are increasingly reaching their capacity. Children would receive adequate housing, food, medical care, and some education. President Obama is also leading the way in collaborating with Mexican and Central American governments to launch a public service campaign raising awareness about the dangers of the journey.
Please sign the petition below and recognize this important step in upholding our responsibility to protect these vulnerable children.
Dear President Obama,
I am writing in regard to your launch of an emergency effort to protect the welfare of child immigrants to the United States. I applaud you for responding to this humanitarian crisis, mobilizing federal agencies to better care for these vulnerable children. You are leading in the way in ensuring that we do what is in our power to accommodate these children, many of whom are not even thirteen years old and others barely learning to walk.
As you are in no doubt aware, many child migrants face the dangerous journey to the U.S. without parents, seeking to escape the violence and poverty of their home countries or to reunite with parents already here in the United States. With this initiative, you are making a powerful statement that we in the United States will not abandon these children. I thank you for your leadership, and hope that this effort will only better prepare us to welcome these children, who have already endured so much.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dorothea Lange via flickr