GOOD

6 Organizations That Are Helping The Nearly 2,000 Children Separated From Their Parents At The U.S. Border

RAICES has raised more than $1.5 million to help provide legal services to help detained parents and children.

People who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018. Photo by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP.

From April 19-May 31, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the U.S. border and placed detention centers while their parents await prosecution, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The average child spends 49 days at Casa Padre, a child detention center in Brownsville, Texas.


The separation of children from their parents is part of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy and its determination to prosecute every person who crosses the border without proper documentation. The policy has resulted in disturbing images of scared children being taken from their parents and stories of border agents telling them that their “families would not exist anymore” and that they would “never see their children again.”

One Honduran man killed himself after being separated from his child.

Newly uncovered audio obtained by ProPublica reportedly captures the wails of detained children, as well as a border patrol agent who jokes, “Well, we have an orchestra here. What’s missing is a conductor.”

People who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018. Photo by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP

Cages For Kids

Journalists toured the facilities — and the ensuing footage is sobering.

\n

The president is deflecting the cruelty of his own administration’s child-separation policy by blaming Democrats.

\n

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has denied that it’s even happening.

\n

Echoes Of History

The decision to break up families and put them into detention facilities is eerily reminiscent of some of the most atrocious human rights abuses of the past century (and much of the rest of our country’s history). Democrats and even some prominent Republicans are speaking out against child-parent separation.

Former first lady Laura Bush condemned the policy in a Washington Post op-ed, writing, “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she favors tighter border security but is against the child separation policy:

“What the administration has decided to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you. That’s traumatizing to the children who are innocent victims, and it is contrary to our values in this country.”

Voices Of Dissent

Some officials say that the inhumane policy is un-American.

“This is inhumane,” Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas told CNN. “I’d like to say it’s un-American, but it’s happening right now in America. And it is on all of us, not just the Trump administration. This is on all of us.”

\n
\n

Musician John Legend has been blunt about his criticism of the GOP-backed policy.

\n

And Chelsea Clinton spoke out against children being separated from their parents.

How You Can Help

Here are a few organizations who are working to help children who have been separated from their parents:

  • The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services has raised more than a million dollars for legal funds to help parents and children who have been detained.
  • \nMomastery is raising funds to provide bilingual legal and advocacy assistance for 60 children (aged 12 months to 10 years) currently separated from their parents in an Arizona detention center.
  • \nAnnunciation House provides shelter to refugee families in El Paso and Las Cruces, Texas.
  • \nLas Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center is a nonprofit dedicated to serving the legal needs of low-income immigrants — including refugees, victims of crime, and families seeking reunification.
  • \nAl Ortro Lado provides legal services to indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana and Los Angeles.
  • The ACLU has a service that makes it easy to contact your senators and ask them to denounce Trump’s family separation policy.
Articles
via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet