Target: Senator John Cornyn and Representative Henry Cuellar
Goal: Stop hamstringing urgent aid for children fleeing from starvation and violence
Unaccompanied minors have arrived in the U.S. from Central America, and are currently waiting for documentation in detention centers along the U.S. border. Sending these children back to their home countries without giving them the chance to seek asylum from violence or extreme hunger would be in violation of a law already in place, which is meant to protect children like these. With the urgent need for real immigration reform, Senator John Cornyn and Representative Henry Cuellar, both of Texas, have proposed a misguided bill that would hamstring the effort to allocate $3.7 billion in humanitarian aid to U.S. agencies and emergency relief on the border.
Cornyn and Cuellar have proposed a bill that attaches this urgent humanitarian aid to the reversal of the 2008 law requiring that children arriving in the U.S. illegally (excluding children from Mexico or Canada) have a hearing before an immigration judge before being sent home. Many of these children are escaping violence, drug cartels, and human traffickers in their home countries. Many are also facing extreme food scarcity. For example, one in four Hondurans struggle with malnutrition.
These politicians are pushing to send children “back home” to starvation and violence, and violate their rights as human beings. Please sign this petition urging Cornyn and Cuellar to drop their proposed bill, and to work with Congress to provide urgent humanitarian aid and make real progress toward immigration reform.
Dear Senator Cornyn and Representative Cuellar,
Your proposed bill ties urgently needed assistance for 60,000 unaccompanied minors on the U.S. border to the reversal of legislation crucial to protecting their rights and safety. Denying these children the right to a hearing is counterproductive to the immigration reform effort. Ironically, your bill would deny assistance to U.S. agencies like the DHHR which are providing basic care like formula for infants, food, medical care, and bedding for children who have nowhere else to turn.
The effort to achieve real immigration reform is crucial in this country, however your bill aims to reverse protections for children who enter the country illegally. Your fight to pass this bill is being fought on the backs of children, specifically those escaping violence and extreme hunger.
Most Americans would never choose to put anyone’s child in danger. Please drop this bill and work with Congress to get emergency assistance to the children and agencies who need it most.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Antonio Martin via Wikipedia Commons