from the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

childrenattheborderbutton-smallBefore leaving for August Recess, the House of Representatives voted on a supplemental funding bill that beefs up border security instead of supporting the agencies most in need of additional funding—the ones that are providing for the basic needs of women and their children who are fleeing widespread violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

The House also voted to strike down a key provision in the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008 that requires U.S. agencies to screen unaccompanied minors from Central America as possible victims of human trafficking. Expediting this process will ensure that many of the children will be sent back to their traffickers or to the violent, abusive situations from where they come. Already, children as young as 18-months are being brought to “rocket docket” hearings, without an attorney, in order to be quickly deported.

Now, the ball is in the Senate’s court and they need to know that although they have been on August Recess, their constituents continue to work to show hospitality to and stand in solidarity with migrants fleeing from violence and aggression, especially children who are traumatized and cannot advocate for themselves.

Call this number:  1-866-940-2439 to leave a message for your Senators.

Sample Script:

Hello, my name is [your name] and as a person of faith living in Senator [name]’s state, I am deeply concerned about the House of Representatives’ response to migrants fleeing violence in Central America. Women and children especially are targets for sexual abuse, aggression, and trafficking and need special protection.

It is for this reason that I urge you to uphold protections for children traveling alone from Central America in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008; to increase funding for humanitarian agencies that are responding to the basic needs of these refugees; and to not rush to deport migrants, especially women and children, who have legitimate claims for protection.

God calls us to act with compassion toward those who are suffering. I implore you to make this a moment of pride for our country.

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