Like you, I am outraged and sickened by what is currently happening at the U.S. border. Ripping children away from their parents, separating families who came here only seeking a better life, keeping children in cages and tent cities: I recognize as a parent and an educator that these children and their parents are being purposefully abused and traumatized. Such practices are not justifiable by any political, religious, moral, or legal argument. Families belong together, and people should be treated with dignity and compassion. Period.
I am an immigrant, and Western Massachusetts is my adopted home. I came here from Colombia nearly 20 years ago in search of better safety and opportunities. I got my Master’s degree at UMass, met my husband Mark, and settled here near Mark’s extended family to raise our children. My own parents are actually traveling from Colombia this week to visit us and see their growing grandsons, who also go to visit them as often as we can afford it, because family bonds are precious.
Many people are reading the news and asking: “What can I do? How can I help?”. I reached out to a friend who works on immigration reform and immigrant rights at the National Immigration Forum for advice on how we can take action. Here are some helpful ways you can stand up for families and immigrants and against this administration’s dangerous policies:
Call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to push back on policies that separate families. The ACLU has a great calling tool that makes this very easy: www.aclu.org/issues/call-senators-stop-dhs-separating-children. You can also call directly to the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Congressperson’s office. We are lucky here in the 1st Franklin to have Senators and a Representative who are leading the fight against our government’s human rights violations, but it’s still important to let them know you care about this issue.
Support, with money and/or time, organizations doing urgent work.
This is a great recent article in Slate with a clear explanation of the law and policies, and a long list of organizations doing good work on this issue. The Pioneer Valley Workers Center is also a great source of information and organizing around low-wage and immigrant labor issues locally.
Make sure you are registered to vote at your current address, and VOTE. Help register voters and get out the vote. In Massachusetts, you can check and update your registration at www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/. This President’s vile intentions are currently unchecked by this GOP Congress, and that situation will only change if Congress changes.
One of the reasons I am running for State Representative is that I believe representation really matters, and that it’s important to demonstrate that people like me–Latinx, immigrants, women, people who speak with an accent–also belong at the table and in the halls of power. I have worked for nearly two decades in Western Mass for education, equity, and wellbeing for ALL people, and I know how to make my voice heard even when it’s easier for some people to turn away. I will make your voice heard at the State House, and I will work tirelessly for children and families, and for equity and justice in Massachusetts and beyond.
PLEASE DONATE TODAY to help me win.