How to Help

If you're like us, your digital life is one big, fast news feed. Some of this news is messed up. How to Help works in the news cycle to connect you with ways to do something about the day's big stories.

People Are Fighting Back Against Family Separation

People Are Fighting Back Against Family Separation


There’s a crisis unfolding at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the situation is escalating faster than many could have ever imagined.

Immigrant children are being torn from their parents. Long-standing asylum laws are shifting to turn away migrant women who are fleeing from domestic violence. Even naturalized citizens are endangered — new efforts are underway to strip citizenship from those the U.S. government believes tried to cheat the system.

We finally got a small glimpse this week of the conditions facing immigrant kids who were ripped from the arms of their parents and thrown into overcrowded shelters. The situation was so bad that at one point, an employee at a shelter in Texas told reporters to smile at the children because “they feel like animals in a cage being looked at.”

Fed up with all that’s happening? There are ways you can take action.

Advocacy groups have collectively gathered more than 300,000 signatures against the child-separation policy

  • This ACLU petition demands that the Department of Homeland Security “end the vicious and inhumane practice of separating children from their families.” So far 97,004 people have signed on — the ACLU wants that number at 10,000 and beyond.

  • The National Domestic Workers Alliance is targeting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol, saying the agencies are “unfit to be in charge of children.” They have gathered 44,138 signatures so far and have just a few thousand more to reach their goal.

  • Organizers for the Women’s March take aim at Ivanka Trump, who has promised that women’s empowerment is, like, her thing.

  • Credo Action has already topped 143,767 signed petitions (and counting). If you need any more of a reason to sign, they have a number of personal stories of immigrants who were torn from their children who were as young as 18-month-old.

  • Daily Kos has another 121,939 petitions gathered. The campaign calls out DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for the “cruel, costly, and inhumane practice.”

Follow our guide on how to get public officials to pay attention to you

Feel anxious about the idea of calling up (powerful) strangers? Don’t know what to say? We’ve got you covered.

To call members of Congress, use this single toll-free number (1.844.USA.0234), which will locate and dial the elected officials in your district without you having to do anything. Once you’re finished with the call, the app automatically lines up phone numbers for your two senators and your local representative, back-to-back.

Flood the DHS switchboard by calling (202.282.8000). The ACLU has a handy script on what to say about ending the family separation policy.

Local groups that work along the border are accepting donations to help immigrant families

The Florence Project, based in Arizona, helps provide legal and social services for immigrant families intercepted at the border. You can donate directly to them here.

Or, there's a consortium of national immigration groups asking for donations here. This allows you to dictate the amount that each group gets from your donation.

There’s a huge social media campaign happening on June 14

Advocacy groups have taken all of the work out of raising awareness via social media. All you need to do is follow along.

Groups have drafted sample tweets for you to copy and share. Messages are written out in both English and Spanish, and do the double-duty of linking people to the cause using the hashtag #FamiliesBelongTogether.

Organizations behind Families Belong Together have also shared their logos and graphics and are encouraging supporters to change their social media avatars to raise awareness.

Events are scheduled around the country — even in the virtual dimension 🛰

For those available to rally in person, there are demonstrations scheduled in every major city. Find a list of events here.

Or, connect over what advocacy groups are calling “Lunchtime for Change,” a virtual demonstration taking place during your lunch break on Thursday, June 14. Here’s what organizers have to say:

The atrocity of tearing apart families seeking refuge and asylum must end. If you want to participate in the June 14th day of action but can’t come to an event in person, join us for a virtual event to aid families who are being detained and psychologically tortured with separation by ICE. Between 12 and 1 PM on June 14th (or whenever your lunch break is), take as many of the actions on this list as possible. Tweet and share your actions – and a link to this page -- on your social media networks with the hashtag #FamiliesBelongTogether to make a greater impact.
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