In light of the threats of ICE raids and detentions issues—kids in detention, families in detention, predictions that Louisiana will have over 10,000 ICE detention beds by the end of the year putting it to the number one state for immigration detention—it may all feel overwhelming. In wise words of Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” If you want to do something, start with a list of three small things you can do today. Do one. Revisit the list tomorrow and do another. Here are some suggestions:
- If you have any investments of any kind (including in your 401K) make sure that your money isn’t invested with companies that build or run the facilities like GEO Group or CoreCivic. Don’t support the prison industrial complex. Make sure you tell everyone why you are moving your money.
- Write a thank you note to Mayor Cantrell, Councilwoman Helena Moreno, and other New Orleans officials who have spoken out against the fear tactics that are promoted by this administration. Even if you think they could have gone farther, voices of support need to be louder than the voices of opposition.
- Write thank you notes, emails, send thank you donations and place calls to politicians who support humane immigration policies, refuse to take monetary support from private detention companies, or otherwise act like moral human beings.
- Write a letter to the editor or a blog post in support of immigration, asylum, or in opposition to the mass detention of human beings.
- In Louisiana, detention centers are located in Evangeline Parish, La Salle Parish, Bossier Parish. ICE has contracted with local facilities; write the people at the local level with the power to make a change.
Recently, Dahlia Lithwick and Margo Schlanger wrote an explainer at Slate.com that spells out the situation on U.S./Mexico border, and it includes good links to organizations that are also working to support immigrants, their welfare, and their rights. Julia Travers from Yes.com also compiled a list of actions people can take to make a difference. The Texas Tribune put together its own list of local organizations working to help children who are separated from their parents.
They all do good work and could use your help.
For more on what to do, see our post on what vulnerable immigrants need to do to prepare for possible ICE raids.