Petition to International Rescue Committee, Southwest Key Programs, BCFS , Upbring , The Children's Center Inc, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Florida Network, Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services, Heartland Alliance, Church World Service, ECDC , HIAS , KidsPeace , Comprehensive Health Services, Inc., His House, Boys Town, Shiloh Treatment Center, Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center, Yolo County Juveline Detention Facility, Shannondoah Valley Juvenile Center, Children's Village, Cayuga Centers, Episcopal Migration Ministries, World Relief, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Refuse to build detention centers for kids torn from families
Join us in demanding that organizations refuse to run detention centers for kids torn from their parents. The Trump administration is cruelly and needlessly separating families seeking help at the border, taking children and babies as young as four months old away from their parents and placing them in detention centers designed for teenagers. These detention centers are called "shelters" and are were built to house "unaccompanied children," or kids who are caught by ICE and Border Patrol while fleeing to the US without their parents. These "shelters" are quickly becoming overwhelmed. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is looking for contractors and nonprofits to open new detention centers for kids. In the past, organizations that ran these ORR "shelters" did so as part of a humanitarian response to the need presented by kids traveling thousands of miles alone, seeking safety and family in the US. Previously, they housed these kids until they could find family members to release them to while their immigration cases were processed. The situation has changed dramatically. ICE and Border Patrol are forcibly taking children from their parents. Kids in diapers, too young to speak, are being put in detention centers that were designed for teenagers. Parents are not told where their children are, and some are deported back to their home countries without knowing whether they will ever see their kids again. These kids, even those materially well-cared for, will suffer long-term, irreparable harm from being separated from their parents at such a young age. We are call on these organizations, who are currently or are likely in the future to accept money from the US Government to operate “shelters” for “unaccompanied kids” to refuse to turn the brutalization of families into profit. Join us in demanding that these organizations refuse to apply for or accept funding from ORR to operate a "shelter" for children as long as kids are being taken from their parents. Many of them have adopted missions to be of service to the poor, the marginalized or immigrants. We are calling on them to remain true to their missions and the people they serve. Accepting money from the Trump administration to operate detention centers for kids and babies torn from parents enables the brutalization of families. Massive human rights violations are made possible by normal people doing their day jobs. The Holocaust could not have happened without the participation of people who operated, maintained and drove trains carrying millions of Jews and other victims across Europe to their deaths in concentration and extermination camps. It is time for them to make a decision: What will their legacy, as organizations, as individual leaders be? Will they participate in this massive human rights atrocity, or will they defend its victims? Join us. Call on these organizations to immediately: 1- Make a public statement denouncing the Trump administration's forced separation of children and babies from their parents at the border 2- Make a public pledge that they will not operate or apply for funding to operate an ORR shelter for unaccompanied children until the Trump administration's policy of tearing apart families is permanently ended. Photo Credit: John Moore, Getty Images
Petition to Department of Homeland Security
Extend immigration protection for 59,000 Haitians
59,000 Haitians were granted temporary protected status (TPS) after the 2010 earthquake that ravaged Haiti, leaving over 200,000 people dead, over 1.5 million people displaced and nearly 4,000 schools damaged or destroyed (CNN, 2016). This protection allowed displaced Haitians to legally reside in the U.S. for the past seven years. During this time many Haitians created new lives, including starting families and pursuing careers. "...extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist." Acting Secretary Elaine Duke of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that the TPS for Haitians was terminated. Any immigrants under this provision have 18 months to return to Haiti or seek "alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible" (Madhani, 2017). Acting Secretary Duke "...made the decision that extraordinary temporary conditions on which the special protections were issued 'no longer exist'" (Madhani, 2017). While Haiti has made some improvements, there is still much work to be done. "Haitians continue to suffer years after the earthquake," U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Mourad Wahba said in an interview with TheWorldPost in January of this year (Cook, 2017). He noted that in January of this year there were still 55,000 people living in "camps and makeshift camps." There are numerous concerns about Haiti's ability to handle more people as the Dominican Republic expelled more than 40,000 people to Haiti between 2015 and 2016, and another 68,000 returned out of fear of persecution and violence (Amnesty International, 2016). Jesselyn Cook, a journalist for the Huffington Post, writes that "This will place strenuous demands on Haiti's crippled agriculture sector and leave many returnees in limbo, without homes or jobs awaiting them” (2017). Haiti seems to move forward one step only to be shoved back three by droughts, strikes by public-health workers due to lack of pay, famine, cholera, the Zika virus and natural disasters (Miroff, 2016). Just last year the number of Haitians who faced “severe” food insecurity doubled to nearly 1.5 million due to drought and the subsequent food shortage (Simmons, 2016). When coupled with the number of those who struggle to access reliable sources of food on a regular basis, that amount more than doubled to 3.6 million people, over a third of the country’s entire population. Numerous articles cite Haiti as “the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere,” with over 2.5 million Haitians living on less than the equivalent of $1.25 a day (Moloney, 2016). For those who would want to fight to stay, the process to become a U.S. citizen can be both costly and long. Immigration lawyers can charge as much as $5,000, with some cases costing as much as $15,000 (Ribitzky, YEAR). This estimate is for one individual and may not take into account additional application fees or any potential family members. The process can take years, time Haitians who were protected under TPS no longer have. A bi-partisan issue Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers from Florida, the state currently housing the largest Haitian population, responded with derision to the announcement from DHS (Madhani, 2017). Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., replied via Twitter: “There is no reason to send 60,000 Haitians back to a country that cannot provide for them. This decision today by DHS is unconscionable. And I am strongly urging the administration to reconsider” (Madhani, 2017). Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Fort Lauderale, released the following statement: “These individuals are established, respected members of our communities who have made significant contributions and I urge the administration to reconsider its decision regarding Haitian and Nicaraguan nationals” (Madhani, 2017). “Haiti is chaos.” I traveled to Haiti in June of this year through the Global Orphan Project. Within minutes of arriving my eyes were opened to suffering on a scale I couldn’t even fathom. Hills of trash fall into waterways where children play and swim. We were instructed never to drink water from the tap and to rely instead on bottles. We were also warned that electricity could come and go without warning. Armed guards stood at the entrances to gas stations. Traffic was a perpetual mash of cars, trucks, vans and buses, with motorcyclists weaving in and out, sometimes balancing livestock or even babies between their legs. I held a four year-old girl who was closer to the size of a two year-old because of malnutrition. The majority of the buildings I saw had bars on the windows and doors or broken glass cemented into the tops of walls. I asked a member of my group who had been to Haiti multiple times if this was left over from the earthquake. “No,” she replied. “The reality is that Haiti looked a lot like this before the earthquake.” We spoke with managers of GOEX, a clothing production center in Port-au-Prince that provides living wage jobs. While they employ as many as they can, one man estimated that every time they advertise a job opening through word-of-mouth, hundreds to over a thousand people will show up outside their gates within 24 to 72 hours. Another man I spoke with, a U.S. citizen who was working in Haiti for a non-profit organization but whose parents were both Haitian, summed it up in one sentence: “Haiti is chaos.” “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” -Aesop This petition is not intended to discount the efforts and progress the Haitian government, the U.S. government and non-profit organizations have made. But the sad reality is that Haiti is not currently in a place to offer jobs, education or support for thousands of people who have begun new lives in the United States and become a part of their local communities. It also forces many families to decide whether to make arrangements for their U.S.-born children to be forced apart from their loved ones or travel to and make a new life in an impoverished country. As we kick off the holiday season this week with Thanksgiving and celebrate being together with our loved ones, let's extend kindness and compassion to a group of people who have been through so much hardship and yet continue to rise and carry on despite the many obstacles thrown in their path. Please sign this petition to call on the Department of Homeland Security to extend TPS for Haitians for seven years. Resources Amnesty International. (2016, June 15). Haiti/Dominican Republic: Reckless deportations leaving thousands in limbo. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/06/haiti-dominican-republic-reckless-deportations-leaving-thousands-in-limbo/ CBS News. (2017, Nov. 21). U.S. plans to end temporary residency permit program for Haiti. CNN. (2016, Dec. 28). Haiti Earthquake Fast Facts. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/12/world/haiti-earthquake-fast-facts/index.html Cook, J. (2017, Jan. 13). 7 years after Haiti's earthquake, millions still need aid. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/haiti-earthquake-anniversary_us_5875108de4b02b5f858b3f9c Madhani, A. (2017, Nov. 20). Trump administration to send Haiti earthquake victims home in 2019. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/11/20/trump-administration-send-haiti-earthquake-victims-home-18-months/883328001/ Miroff, N. (2016, June 16). Haiti needs food, jobs doctors-and now a president. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/haiti-needs-food-jobs-doctors--and-now-a-president/2016/06/15/6eb20928-3171-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html?utm_term=.32db9d3a379e Moloney, A. (2016, Jan. 20). Haiti needs new approach to make aid effective, bring jobs, skills: ex-PM. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-haiti-aid/haiti-needs-new-approach-to-make-aid-effective-bring-jobs-skills-ex-pm-idUSKCN0UY28U Mulheir, G. (2015, June 25). Thousands of children are living in orphanages in Haiti-but not because they are orphans. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/thousands-of-children-are-living-in-orphanages-in-haiti-but-not-because-they-are-orphans-10345063.html Ribitzky, R. (YEAR, July 3). Path to U.S. citizenship costly, tedious. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 Simmons, A. (2016, Feb. 11). Drought compounds food crisis in Haiti. Retrieved from http://beta.latimes.com/world/la-fg-haiti-food-insecurity-20160210-story.html *Photo credit: ABC News (2016). Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/International/photos/hurricane-matthew-makes-landfall-caribbean-42551617/image-43026979
Petition to California Governor Jerry Brown C/O Kristina Lindquist Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary., State Capitol Sacramento Ca. 95814
Expedite Pardon review and pardon of Mony Neth
This is a petition to expedite the pardon review and to pardon Mony Neth. On the Morning of Friday Oct 20, 2017, Mony Neth was detained by I.C.E. while on his way to work. Mony has been in the U.S. since childhood and knows America as his only home. He is a hard working electrician and an aspiring minister, recently graduating seminary school. Mony is also a family man. He has a wife, daughter, and two elderly parents who rely on him for care at his home in Modesto, Ca. . In addition, he is also very community minded. When he is not working or tending to family he is serving meals to the homeless with his church. Mony is dedicated to spreading the gospel and is truly admired as well as inspiring to all who all who know him. He applied for a pardon for a long ago paid debt to society for a crime committed when he was a teenager and now faces being forever separated from his family. Since he has paid his debt, Mony has been a more than model American, constantly bettering himself. He is a testament to what a person can do in this country if you work hard and focus on the positive. I urge all to sign this petition and help save a good man, a family, and a true American.
Petition to U.S. Senate, Brian J. Mast, Department of Homeland Security, President of the United States
Cancel Deportation Order Against Pedro Richard Cruz-Ruiz father of two
On December 9th, 2017 my husband's lawyer's office called to deliver the bad news that the lawyer can longer cancel his deportation order that he has been cancelling every year in order to obtain an Employment Authorization Card. My husband and I have been together since September 27th, 2008 we met at No Name Pub in Big Pine Key, Florida. I already had a daughter of age 16 months at that time from a previous very abusive relationship. We fell in love immediately and have been inseparable ever since. We got married in January of 2010 never thinking he would become a legal resident. Pedro also known as Richard was brought here by his father in the year of 2000 illegally to pursue a better life for himself and attend school. He was a minor but yet that fact does not matter all people see is he entered illegally. When his father was struggling to make enough money for his family Richard decided to quit school and started to work two jobs. He had worked at No Name Pub for over 13 years and also with Winn Dixie for a few years off and on. After we married about 4 years later we decided to just try talking to lawyers and see what we could do. Richard had obtained a license years ago but the paper he signed was agreeing that he would leave after the year was over, Richard was not aware it stated this and signed it because he did not want to drive illegally to and from work. So now we were faced with cancelling that deportation order in order to obtain his employment card which also granted him a social security number as well as a temporary driver's license. Richard and I have been doing this every single year as well as myself requesting he be able to stay forever but that process could take years the lawyer said. After my husband got his social security and license cards he right away knew he wanted to adopt the daughter he had been taking care of for so many years (8 years to be exact) whose father never paid more than $600 in her whole life. So right away we did what needed to be done in order for her to share our last name and it worked! Kylee is now Richard's daughter in all ways. In 2016 we said since Richard is legal now lets try for a baby of our own after waiting 9 years to make sure he would be able to stay in the US. To our surprise it took and Rosabella was born on July 21st, 2017. Our children are our pride and joy and we will do anything to keep our family together. In September of this year we lost all of our belongings to Hurricane Irma and were forced to leave the Florida Keys and reside with my brother until we found our home which we are about to move into December 15th, 2017 but now we do not know what our future holds. I Brianna Cruz cannot work due to no childcare and nursing my newborn baby. My first daughter Kylee can not handle anymore hurt in her life after losing everything this year and uprooting her life. Life without her father in the USA would cause extreme emotional distress. Mentally my daughter is unstable because of the storm and her father in fear of deportation. And myself I deal with PTSD. I also combat chronic depression after my sister was brutally murdered when I was 14 years old also pregnant at that time. My mental state can not handle life without my husband. My husband has also paid his taxes worked two jobs to support us and owns two cars so we can get around to all of my doctor appointments. He would give his friends and family the shirt off his back if they needed it because he is that nice of a person he does not deserve this and needs to stay to take care of his family. He has no criminal record and would be a model citizen if ever granted the title. He is the sole economic provider for his family. Richard deserves the chance to present his case before Immigration Court with a council he speaks English and has no criminal history. He volunteers every week at my brother's church to help out in children's ministry. He has many friends and co workers writing letters to state his devotion to work, family and, friends. We need our story to be heard and for Richard to obtain a pardon and hearing to present his case ASAP to become legal indefinitely. Please sign this if not for us for our babies! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and God bless, Brianna Cruz-Ruiz
Petition to Elizabeth Warren, Richard J. Durbin, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives, Joaquin Castro, Beto O'Rourke, Lindsey Graham, Joe Donnelly
Protect and Preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
As a result of the recent election, the time to preserve vital progress in our nation has come. President-elect Donald Trump’s anticipated immigration plans pose a significant threat to undocumented immigrants nationwide. Undocumented high school graduates wishing to go on to college to further their education, wanting nothing more than to contribute to their communities and to the United States, face a harsh reality after graduating high school. DACA presented hope for a future for many undocumented students across the country. Young children and young adults with aspirations of becoming future doctors, teachers, lawyers, and countless other career paths were given an opportunity to pursue their dreams when Obama announced the DACA program. Donald Trump plans to terminate this, effectively ending all young undocumented students' hopes of obtaining driver’s licenses, work permits, and a college education and putting them at an increased risk for deportation. What is DACA?“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal. PLEASE NOTE: DACA does not grant a path to permanent residency or citizenship. The DREAM Act, which would lead to permanent residency, has NOT passed.” http://undocu.berkeley.edu/legal-support-overview/what-is-daca/ “On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.” https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca DACA Eligibility RequirementsYou may request DACA if you: 1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; 2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; 3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; 4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; 5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; 6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and 7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. DACA is not amnesty, nor a direct path to citizenship. DACA allows eligible immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, obtain a work permit, and stay in the country to work toward a path to citizenship without great risk of deportation. Thanks to DACA, these immigrants can share their experiences and talent while developing their skills and education as they work to establish themselves as U.S. Citizens. Pew Research Center estimates there are 11.1 undocumented immigrants in the country while the Department of Homeland Security estimates there are 11.4 undocumented immigrants in the United States as January of 2012—the number only continues to increase. These immigrants are our friends, neighbors, classmates, coworkers, and students. President Obama’s announcement of DACA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RXSlMu5EDI Obstacles Faced by Immigrants · “Most immigration lawyers charge between $5,000 to $7,500 to accompany a client through the green card process.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · “Some cases can cost closer to $15,000 before adding on application fees and any potential family members.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · “Applicants can spend years marked by a feeling of lost opportunity and helplessness as they wait for the process to conclude.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=87996&page=1 · Many colleges do not accept DACA students · Out of state tuition for many DACA college students if they can find a college that accepts them · FAFSA cannot be utilized by undocumented students and many scholarships cannot be awarded to undocumented students, putting them at a major disadvantage when it comes to the college application process. · Constant association and comparison to terrorists and criminals—including racial profiling. While terrorists and immigrants with malicious intent do get into the country, this is a very small proportion and must not be overgeneralized to the population as a whole. Immigrants, legal or undocumented, tragically face a growing hatred that has been inspired by negative framing of immigrants, use of misleading information, and the strategy of using them as scapegoats. · Immigration raids in their communities · Being forcibly taken or separated from their families. Children are often separated from their parents because of the deportation process. Without DACA:• According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are an estimated 1,932,000 DACA eligible immigrants in the U.S. If Donald Trump carries through with his plans to end DACA, these almost 2 million immigrants will be unable to obtain driver’s licenses and work permits, will not be able to work toward their educational dreams, and will be at great risk for deportation • We will be ending the work, progress, and achievements of young immigrants. All of their hard-work and progress will essentially be destroyed • According to the American Psychological Association, there are one million children under the age of 18 who are undocumented and 4.4 million under the age of 30. Those who currently are in the DACA program or are eligible for DACA, will be at major risk for deportation if DACA is ended. • We will be ending the educational paths of future doctors, businessmen and women, skilled trade workers, teachers, and more • We will be tearing apart and ruining families who only wish to work toward becoming U.S. citizens Please pledge your support to prevent the termination of this vital program and show Donald Trump we do not want to see these young, hardworking, patriotic immigrants separated from their families and forced out of our country. Let us show President-elect Donald Trump that these young students want nothing more to contribute to our country by protecting the program that allows them to work toward their ultimate goal of becoming U.S. citizens. Please remember that DACA is just one program that is in place to help immigrants assimilate into our nation. With Donald Trump’s election, this is only one facet of the immigration progress that is at risk. There is much more that needs to be done. This is just one step. Please share this with friends, family, and coworkers, and remember that we must all come together as Americans or watch our great nation continue to grow divided and crumble before our eyes. Resources and Further Information: https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states https://immigrationforum.org/ http://inthecountrywelove.com/ http://www.nationalimmigrationproject.org/ https://www.ilrc.org/ https://www.nilc.org/ http://saalt.org/policy-change/immigrant-rights/daca-stories/ http://unitedwedream.org/dreamer-narratives/daca-stories-arian/ https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2015/07/09/117054/results-from-a-nationwide-survey-of-daca-recipients-illustrate-the-programs-impact/ http://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca-profiles http://www.apa.org/topics/immigration/undocumented-video.aspx https://thinkprogress.org/heres-how-much-trump-s-mass-deportation-policy-would-cost-everyone-3e19f51ff8cf#.8ey83fmt6
Petition to Department of Homeland Security, Cory A. Booker, Robert Menendez, Albio Sires, Steven Fulop
Ahmed Abdel-basit Mohammad is an academic seeking asylum in the US due to the brutal political persecution in his country. Ahmed has been recently detained by ICE and has an unjust and politically motivated death sentence in Egypt. On April 5th 2018, ICE agents arrested Ahmed outside of his home on his way to work, where he teaches physics to high school students. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have reported on his case and have supported his asylum application. Denying Ahmed's asylum and deporting him is sending an innocent man to his imminent death. Sign this petition today to help save Ahmed’s life and visit us at www.savebasit.com for updates on his case.
Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Florida Governor, Georgia State Senate, Georgia State House, Georgia Governor, California State Senate, California State House, California Governor, Connecticut State Senate, Connecticut State House, Connecticut Governor, Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin State House, Wisconsin Governor, New York State Senate, New York State House, New York Governor, New Hampshire State Senate, New Hampshire State House, New Hampshire Governor, Maine State Senate, Maine State House, Maine Governor, West Virginia State Senate, West Virginia State House, West Virginia Governor, Arkansas State Senate, Arkansas State House, Arkansas Governor, Nebraska State Senate, Nebraska State House, Nebraska Governor, New Mexico State Senate, New Mexico State House, New Mexico Governor, Utah State Senate, Utah State House, Utah Governor, Ohio State Senate, Ohio State House, Ohio Governor, Missouri State Senate, Missouri State House, Missouri Governor, Mississippi State Senate, Mississippi State House, Mississippi Governor, Delaware State Senate, Delaware State House, Delaware Governor, Rhode Island State Senate, Rhode Island State House, Rhode Island Governor, New Jersey State Senate, New Jersey State House, New Jersey Governor, Arizona State Senate, Arizona State House, Arizona Governor, Oklahoma State Senate, Oklahoma State House, Oklahoma Governor, North Carolina State Senate, North Carolina State House, North Carolina Governor, South Carolina State Senate, South Carolina State House, South Carolina Governor, Illinois State Senate, Illinois State House, Illinois Governor, Tennessee State Senate, Tennessee State House, Tennessee Governor, Virginia State Senate, Virginia State House, Virginia Governor, Massachusetts State Senate, Massachusetts State House, Massachusetts Governor, Kansas State Senate, Kansas State House, Kansas Governor, Texas State Senate, Texas State House, Texas Governor, Michigan State Senate, Michigan State House, Michigan Governor, Pennsylvania State Senate, Pennsylvania State House, Pennsylvania Governor, Nevada State Senate, Nevada State House, Nevada Governor, Minnesota State Senate, Minnesota State House, Minnesota Governor, Colorado State Senate, Colorado State House, Colorado Governor, Oregon State Senate, Oregon State House, Oregon Governor, Kentucky State Senate, Kentucky State House, Kentucky Governor, Washington State Senate, Washington State House, Washington Governor, Indiana State Senate, Indiana State House, Indiana Governor, Maryland State Senate, Maryland State House, Maryland Governor, Vermont State Senate, Vermont State House, Vermont Governor, Idaho State Senate, Idaho State House, Idaho Governor, Alaska State Senate, Alaska State House, Alaska Governor, Louisiana State Senate, Louisiana State House, Louisiana Governor, Hawaii State Senate, Hawaii State House, Hawaii Governor, Puerto Rico State Senate, Puerto Rico State House, Puerto Rico Governor, District Of Columbia State Senate, District Of Columbia State House, District Of Columbia Governor, North Dakota State Senate, North Dakota State House, North Dakota Governor, South Dakota State Senate, South Dakota State House, South Dakota Governor
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Petition to Department of Justice, Houston Immigration Court, Congressman Al Green
Help the Castro Family #stopseparatingfamilies
We are American citizens, and our family is being torn apart. My dad Henry Castro came to this country as a 17-year-old in 1994. He was told that he would receive a notice of his immigration hearing in the mail, but he never did. There is proof that his letter was delivered to someone he didn’t know. Now, almost 25 years later, he is a father of six and an active member of our community, and he is being asked to leave us all behind. My dad has never committed a crime and was a minor when he came to the U.S. To send him back to Guatemala now is unfair. A week ago, my father was given two choices: voluntarily leave the country or to appeal the asylum case that he lost. On Tuesday, August 14 2018, he has to report back to court with his decision. We’re asking the judge to consider a third option: Let him stay in the country with his family. As a daughter and older sister, I don’t want to see my younger siblings grow up without a father. Please join us in urging the judge in my father’s case to offer us another option that doesn’t break my family apart. Your support will show the judge that my father deserves a chance. Sign our petition to help.