Call Of The Day: Stop Family Separations At The Border

Trump’s New Executive Order:  Mass and Indefinite Detention

In response to the outrage concerning the family separation policy, the Trump administration signed an executive order that he claimed would end the family separation crisis at the border.  But is it an acceptable solution?

Trump’s EO Calls for Mass Detention of Families

First and foremost, the zero tolerance policy is still in place, meaning that people who cross the border are still being prosecuted.  However, the executive order directs the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together while their cases are being processed.  That means that our government is now detaining immigrant families.  The executive order additionally directs the Department of Defense and other agencies to support DHS in detaining immigrants, meaning that the U.S. government will be creating a massive family immigration detention system.

This Violates the Law

Under the 1997 Flores Settlement (which has been wrongly cited as the reason for the family separation crisis by Republicans in the past), immigrant children cannot be held in detention indefinitely.  This executive order seeks to skirt around these protections and allow families to be detained indefinitely.  It’s cruel and inhuman and not a solution.

The Bottom Line

Trump created the family separation crisis, and his new executive order is not a solution.  And like so many other Trump-created crises, Republicans in Congress are letting it happen.  Some may have expressed concerns about the policy, but none have done anything about it.  That’s where you come in.

Three calls to make:  Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, and Representative Richmond or Scalise

Senator Bill Cassidy:  DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office:  504-838-0130; Monroe:  318-324-2111; Lake Charles:  337-493-5398; Alexandria:  318-448-7176
 
Senator John Kennedy:  DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans:  504-581-6190; Lafayette:  (337) 269-5980; Monroe:  (318) 361-1489; Alexandria:  (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge:  (225) 926-8033; Shreveport:  (318) 670-5192

Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative.  If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.

Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
OR
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259

SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR OUR REPUBLICAN SENATORS:

Caller:  Hi!  My name is [Your Name] and I’m calling from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [or wherever you're calling from].  I’m calling today to tell the senator to stop family separations at the border.

Staffer:  Thanks for calling.  Thanks to the President’s executive order, families will no longer be separated.  The senator is happy to see the situation resolved.

Caller:  The situation is not resolved.  The executive order does not remove the zero tolerance policy and would lead to jailing of immigrant families.  That is unacceptable.  Family jails is not the answer and I want the senator to oppose any efforts in the Senate that would create them.  That means I expect the senator to vote against the Cruz proposal, or any other that creates family jails.

Staffer:  We’ll be sure to pass your message to the senator.

Caller:  Please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what the senator decides to do.

SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR REPRESENTATIVE SCALISE:

Caller:  Hi!  My name is [Your Name] and I’m calling from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [or wherever you're calling from].  I’m calling today to tell Representative Scalise to vote NO on both the Goodlatte bill and the Paul Ryan proposal.  If he cares about the plight of these children being taken from their parents at the border, he would support legislation that actually protects these children and doesn’t hurt other immigrants, including Dreamers.

Staffer:  Thanks for calling.  Representative Scalise is currently monitoring the situation at the border and will make an appropriate statement when necessary.  However, he does believe that our immigration system must be reformed to cut down on fraud and abuse and strengthen our border.  Representative Scalise will be looking at the upcoming proposals to see how they address our system and solve the family separation situation.

Caller:  Neither the Goodlatte, nor the Speaker Ryan proposal would stop family separations at the border.  They would only make it worse and make it easier to deport parents and keep them from their kids.  Additionally, both bills seriously harm immigrants and prevent families from unifying.

Staffer:  I’ll pass along your thoughts to Representative Scalise..

Caller:  Please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what Representative Scalise decides to do.

SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR REPRESENTATIVE RICHMOND:

Caller:  Hi! My name is [Your Name] and I’m calling from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [or wherever you're calling from].  I’m calling today to thank him for cosponsoring the Keep Families Together Act and for speaking out against Trump’s cruel zero tolerance policy and the resulting separation of children from their parents at the border.  I do also ask that Representative Richmond vote NO on any future spending bills unless they REDUCE funding for ICE and CBP.

Staffer:  Thanks for calling.  Representative Richmond is deeply troubled by the Trump administration’s immigration policies, particularly the family separation policy.  However, Representative Richmond does believe that the government should be funded and should have the capacity to protect our homeland.  Representative Richmond will be evaluating any spending bills that come to a vote.

Caller:  Under the Trump administration, ICE and CBP have terrorized immigrant communities. This family separation crisis at the border is only the latest example of ICE and CBP’s abusive behavior.  These two agencies are separating families every single day, and Congress has done nothing to stop them.  If Representative Richmond really cares about keeping families together, then he will vote to defund the agencies responsible for it.  Will Representative Richmond help defund hate by committing to vote against any spending bill unless it reduces funding for ICE and CBP?

Staffer:  At this point in time, Representative Richmond will be evaluating any future spending bill that comes up.  I’m happy to pass your message along to him.

Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what the representative decides to do.

This call is adapted from national Indivisible site, which can be viewed here.