Shining a Light on Law and Policy

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Torchlight Briefs: Asylum & Immigration

Torchlight Legal Communications is building a collection of resources to educate everyone—refugees and other immigrants, U.S.-based allies, and those seeking to become allies—to provide clear, understandable information about what is happening at our southern border today, what it means for civil liberties, and what we can do.

The Family Separation Policy and the current Zero-Tolerance Enforcement Policy are shining a light on an extensive and inhumane system of immigration detention.The abuse and inhumane conditions of private, for-profit immigration detention centers is well-documented. Alternatives to detention have proven effective and far more cost-effective. Without sustained political action by citizens, this system will only expand.

So, what can you do to put an end to child and family detention? How can ordinary citizens demand political action to end child and family detention? Here’s a list of ideas and organizations that will help you raise your voice.

The vast majority of migrant families seeking refuge in the United States have endured untold horrors. On both sides of the border, there is a desperate need for humanitarian aid—providing food, shelter, safety, and medical attention to children and adults seeking asylum and those recently denied refuge. 

Here’s a list of organizations providing humanitarian aid along the southern border that need your donations and volunteer efforts.

In immigration proceedings, you do not have the right to an attorney unless you can pay for one. That means that individuals facing deportation—including separated/unaccompanied children—are expected to act as their own attorney in a system frequently described as “death penalty cases in a traffic court setting.”

Here’s a list of organizations that that need your help to provide legal representation to detained children and their parents.

In federal authorities took an infant from her mother while breastfeeding. The mother was handcuffed when she resisted this horrific act. I hear these stories, and I feel my body brace itself as if there was a way to keep the pain, anger, and horror from hitting me. But I can’t.

. . .

For years, the federal government has increasingly victimized those seeking refuge under US and international law. We must respond to these atrocities and reclaim our collective humanity. How do we start?