A collaboration of The Center for Spirituality & Practice
and the Fetzer Institute

June 26, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

As you've been hearing in the news, conditions for migrant children in detention after crossing the border from Mexico to the United States are "the most degrading and appalling conditions you can imagine," in the words of Elora Mukherjee, the Jerome L. Greene Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the director of the Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. She was in El Paso, Texas, last week visiting the children who were detained in Clint. She reported to the BBC that children didn't have soap, clean clothes, or access to showers. Many were sleeping on mats; some were even sleeping on concrete floors. Some children told her that they hadn't been outdoors, and those who had gone outdoors told her they couldn't play because "they needed to conserve their energy to stay alive in there."

Hearing these heart-rending and convicting details brings to our minds a call originally written by staff at Children's Aid Direct, which Lyn Klug shared in A Forgiving Heart :

I am the child who lives on the streets;
Pray for me.
I am the child in a refugee camp;
Pray for me.
I am the child hidden away in an orphanage;
Pray for me.
I am the child trying to find my parents;
Pray for me.
I am the child dying of hunger;
Pray for me.
Share your music, your education, your riches with me.
Share your shoes, your food, your blankets, your fuel, your toys with me.
Share your ideas, your imagination, your skills, your time, your dreams with me.
Share your world with me.
It should be mine as well.

Here are some ways that you can help migrant children. We invite you to find at least one that you can do, so that our efforts together will share a better world for migrants:

1) The American Civil Liberties Union reports that Congress could prevent deportations by dismantling ICE's agreements with local police. Urge your congressional representatives to pass the bill that does just that. Learn more here .

2) Here's a list of highly rated charities that help refugees. Please give what you can.

3) Yes! magazine has provided ideas of 20 opportunities to make a difference on behalf of migrants , including joining a visitation program, creating a fundraiser, protesting, and tutoring English-language learners.

4) Mourning the suffering of others takes a toll on your energy. Keep your spirits up by listening to these stories from migrants whose strength and resilience kept them going and made them able to contribute to their country's good.
Salaam, Shalom, Shanti, Peace,

The Practicing Democracy Project Team

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