Last week, eight children arrived at the Otay Port of Entry in San Diego. Rather than being welcomed and allowed to apply for asylum as both international and U.S. law require, they were callously rejected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). So much for “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Today, as Human Rights Day is being celebrated across the world, we call on Congress to ensure that asylum seekers are welcomed with due process, not tear gas. Contact Congress and ask them to travel during this holiday season to the U.S.-Mexico border to accompany asylum seekers through the border.
The children, ages 15-17, had fled their homes in Honduras in a desperate attempt to seek refuge from horrific violence and a near-complete breakdown of societal systems — a breakdown resulting from previous U.S. intervention in Latin America. The children had spent weeks waiting for humanitarian support in Tijuana.
To love and support and provide relief to asylum seekers and the community supporting them, our Local Peace Economy organizer, Kelly Curry, is right now at the border doing the necessary caregiving work that sustains the world in troubled times.
Representative Pramila Jayapal recently provided political caregiving for the asylum seekers. She traveled to the border herself to walk refugees across and ensure that U.S. federal and international human rights laws were enforced. Send a message to Congress to follow in her footsteps. Tell them to accompany asylum seekers at U.S. Ports of Entry.
And it isn’t just at the U.S.-Mexico border that we must provide support for refugees. Last August, we traveled to Greece to support the war refugees living in the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the island of Lesbos. Many of you had sent us baby shoes, socks, and clothes which we delivered. While there, we witnessed horrible living conditions and a shocking lack of resources. Today, on Human Rights Day, our own Nancy Mancias is back at it, delivering the boxer briefs and socks you sent us to give to the refugees.
Along with the kinds of humanitarian relief Nancy and Kelly are providing, we need more of the political action that Rep. Jayapal is doing. Tell Congress to act now to ensure that children at the U.S.-Mexico border are able to peacefully seek asylum.
PS. If you want to provide support at the border here is how, and in honor of Human Rights day, consider getting our Universal Declaration of Human Rights Card and Activity Deck created by CODEPINK supporter Diane Perlman.