You Have The Power

Arguably, even in the presence of moral outrages, assaults on democracy, compromise of our national security and even more, our most grievous shame of the past four years is our refusing fair treatment of people fleeing terrorism and the imprisonment of innocent children. Literally ripping babies – infants – from their mothers’ arms. We did that. It was done in our name.

We’ve begun to claw back some dignity by reuniting over 100 kids with their parents, yet there is so much more work to be done. Indeed, the prior administration literally had no reunification plan, no effort to create identification documentation, no thought whatsoever for these imprisoned people except to let them rot in concentration camps.

My friend Lee Goodman has been a champion for these people and has a report which you’ll find below. He calls us to action. If you listen well, you’ll hear thousands of men, women and children calling us to action as well. You have the power to answer.

Here is Lee’s report.

We worked hard and finally convinced the Trump administration to close the children’s detention centers at Carrizo Springs, Texas and Homestead, Florida in 2019. Earlier this week, Carrizo Springs reopened, and the Biden administration announced that Homestead will shortly reopen under a new name ˗ Biscayne. Carrizo Springs will be operated by the same company that ran it before. We do not yet know who will operate Biscayne.

President Biden is on record as opposing child detention and for-profit prisons. Dr. Jill Biden has pledged to help reunify immigrant children who were separated from their families. Vice-President Kamala Harris visited Homestead while campaigning, and she expressed her disapproval of child detention.

We don’t yet know what the administration has in mind. The Biden administration has taken a number of very positive steps on immigration. It is not continuing the Trump administration policy of deliberate cruelty in order to punish immigrants and discourage people from trying to come to our country. It is possible that these detention centers will be used to house children for just a few hours or a couple of days, until they can be united with their families.

But recent history makes us very concerned. Under Trump, children were unnecessarily held for many months. The hardship for the children and their families was enormous.

We are in contact with government officials and a number of groups we have worked with in the past, trying to find out what is planned for these detention centers. We will be watching closely, and we are preparing to make our voices heard if necessary, within the public safety restrictions of COVID. As before, we believe:

Our government should not separate children from their families.
Detention should be minimized, and reunification should take place quickly.
For-profit corporations should not be making money by imprisoning children.
Independent observers should be allowed to monitor conditions.
The federal government should make information about the children at the facilities available to the public.
Detention facilities should be overseen by state child welfare agencies.

Right now, I urge you to contact your Representative (find your representative using the search in the top right corner of the website) and Senators (find your senators using either pull-down on the top left of the website) and let them know how you feel about the detention of migrant children. The Congress is responsible for the children in detention. It enacts the laws that set the policy for our country, authorizes the money to carry out those policies, and exercises oversight of the federal agencies that implement immigration policy.

Thank you for your concern and your effort.

Lee Goodman
Peaceful Communities, Inc.
[email protected]


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