Target: Senator Ron Johnson (WI) and Senator Tom Coburn (OK)
Goal: Don’t deport endangered immigrant children back to homelands where they face violence and the risk of death
Approximately 60,000 children from Central America have attempted to cross the U.S. border this past year in an effort to escape severely violent living conditions. With no regard for the cause of this migration or even the present well-being of these children, certain members of Congress have called for the immediate deportation of these children.
Children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been crossing the U.S. border in increasing numbers. These children, mostly unaccompanied minors, have been making this long journey in search of safety and a better life away from their poverty-stricken, crime-ridden home countries, which are considered to be some of the most violent countries in the world. In the capital of El Salvador alone, a fierce battle between two rival gangs has overrun the city. Homicides have risen out of control in these countries; San Pedro Sula in Honduras has been listed as the murder capital of the world. Children in these countries risk the daily threat of beatings, rape and murder. These children cross our border, fearful of how their lives may end in their own communities. Surely these are the ‘poor huddled masses yearning to be free,’ that our own Statue of Liberty beckons. The 1980 Refugee Act establishes an obligation that those arriving at U.S. borders under fear for their life are entitled to seek asylum.
And yet, certain members of the U.S. Senate have jumped at the idea of simply taking these unaccompanied children and putting them on a plane back to their home countries. Senator Ron Johnson (WI) felt this would be a good way to thwart parents in these countries from sending their children to the U.S. borders. Senator Tom Coburn (OK) joined Senator Johnson in support of such deportation, believing such action would send a message.
Senator Johnson and Senator Coburn need to understand that first, these are children afraid for their lives. They are now within our borders and it is our responsibility, as citizens of the world and as Americans, to safeguard them. They are, by right and by our own laws, entitled to such protection. Tell these senators that sending children back into these danger zones would indeed send a message … a very cold, cruel message and one that Americans should not abide by.
Dear Senator Johnson and Senator Coburn,
Understand that the immigrant children from Central America are first and foremost children, and have arrived at our borders under fear for their lives. In their home countries these children face the daily and very real threats of beatings, rape and murder from rampant criminal and gang warfare.
Pursuant to the 1980 Refugee Act, these children are entitled to asylum and deserve refugee status. It is our responsibility as Americans to safely harbor those who arrive at our borders in fear of their lives.
Your consideration of immediate deportation of these minors back to crime-ridden gang-war zones is a shameful disregard for their safety, and most definitely not the message I want to send to the rest of the world about how America views and treats children.
I ask you to reconsider this situation. If your own children were in mortal danger, would you not make every effort to keep them safe? Recognize these children as the refugees they are and grant them asylum.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: shawn1 via Pixabay