US-Mexico Border Crisis
Petition to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Department of Homeland Security
Stop Separating Immigrant Families_Buddhist Statement
[PLEASE SEE THE UPDATE FOR AN ACTION YOU CAN TAKE JULY 20, 2019] As Buddhist leaders and practitioners, we unreservedly condemn the recently imposed policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the US-Mexican border. Over the past few weeks, thousands of children have been inhumanely taken from their parents by US Customs and Border Protection, in a policy that has been condemned by the United Nations and many international human rights observers. Indeed, no other country has a policy of separating families who intend to seek asylum. Whatever the legal status of those attempting to enter the US, separating children from their parents is a contravention of basic human rights. Parents seeking asylum make long, dangerous and arduous journeys in an attempt to find safety and well-being for their precious children. Ripping these vulnerable children from their parents is cruel, inhumane, and against the principles of compassion and mercy espoused by all religious traditions. From a Buddhist perspective, it is the close bond between parents and children that nurtures not only the physical well-being of children, but their psychological health and their moral formation. Separating children from their parents and holding them in detention inflicts terrible and needless trauma and stress on young children that hampers and damages their development, causing long-term damage. This policy being employed on United States soil is morally unconscionable. That such egregious actions be employed as a deterrent for families seeking entry and/or asylum in the U.S. – using the sacred bond between innocent youth and their parents – is unjustifiable on any level. We suggest that our current defenders of this policy visit some of these border crossings and child detention centers so they can experience for themselves the present effects of their decisions. It is difficult to conceive that anyone having compassion for our world’s children and their families, and who witnesses such pain and anguish for themselves could continue to uphold such a practice. As people of faith and conscience, we feel that it is important that we speak out clearly in defense of basic human rights at this time, calling for an immediate end to this heartless practice. In doing so, we join the voices of many religious leaders and congregations that have unreservedly condemned this policy of separation. This policy is a serious violation of the rights of the child and must be stopped today. Signed: (Click here for a list of over 200 Buddhist leaders)
Petition to Department of Homeland Security, Jeanne Shaheen, Ann M. Kuster, ICE ERO El Paso Texas, ICE - D.C. Headquarters
Please release my nephew and sister-in-law from detention
My sister-in-law and her 12-year-old son came to the U.S. seeking asylum from horrific violence, yet since their arrival in May have been separated and held in immigrant detention. They are not doing well. Please help our family and sign to ask that they be released into our care until their next court date. Jessica (we share the same name) and Mario made the dangerous journey to the border from Honduras. The violence there is beyond any hell you can imagine. Family members have been killed and siblings robbed. On top of this, Jessica suffered abuse from her boyfriend that she couldn’t get away from. They were desperate to escape. Now in detention, Jessica is suffering extreme panic attacks and can’t eat, and Mario is constantly crying for his mom. He doesn’t understand why they are separated and tells his aunt he can’t take another day inside. We are so worried about him. There is no ‘line’ for Jessica and Mario. Asylum is their only possibility, and that is why they came here the way they did. Our hearts are broken. No child should be forced to be separated from their parents. Please sign this petition to have her reunited with Mario and released to me and my husband (her brother), or her other sister who lives 2.5 hours from us. She can wait for her court date with us without being a burden to society.