What’s Next? Postcard Campaign – Walk for The Children/Caminata por la Niñez

Chinche a el agua, by Victor “Mask” Casas

What’s Next? Postcard Campaign

To Mail: April 23-30

Walk for the Children / Caminata por la Niñez

Witness at the Border is hosting an in-person action, Walk for the Children/Caminata por las Niñez in El Paso, Texas on April 30, to call attention to immigrant children confined in U.S. custody. Witnesses will walk from the Paso del Norte Bridge at the El Paso border with Juarez, Mexico to Ft. Bliss Army Base where over 2,000 immigrant children are being held. For those who cannot attend this live event, we encourage you to act in solidarity with an action in your own community and/or mail postcards to elected officials. Whether you can join in the walk or not, please take this action of solidarity.


1. Download the postcard: “Chinche a el agua,” by Victor “Mask” Casas

2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you can’t print double sided, you can print single side.

3. Write your postcards. The theme for this card is Walk for the Children / Caminata por la Niñez.

–   End Title 42 expulsions and admit migrant families on a priority basis.
–  Stop separating children from their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings.
–  Allow parents and other close relatives already in the U.S. to come to the border to pick up their children.
–   Release children QUICKLY to their family in the U.S. Don’t incarcerate children ever. It is proven to do irreparable harm.

4. Address the cards to:

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Vice President Harris
The White House
Office of the Vice President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. SE
Washington, DC 20528

The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

5. Apply a 36 cent postcard stamp to each card.

6. Drop your cards in the mail between April 23-30.

When Nothing Changes, We Continue

“Welcome”…said the country with concertina wire to keep “them” out

When I get overwhelmed I write. I am overwhelmed.

The southern border is a sad place. I think about the stories I have been told about when it was a place where families crossed freely for celebrations, parties, dining, and shopping. Not that long ago, I am told. But then the US decided to militarize it. We all know that the military industrial complex is real and it’s deadly and a disgusting example of immoral U.S. imperialism that has been and continues to be touted around the world.

A friend from a border town called to tell me about what she is seeing and experiencing. It is the direct opposite of what many who are not on the border are saying. “Joe is a kind man,” many liberal Democrats say. “He will undo all trump did,” they say. “Give him time,” many others say. But we knew. Those along the border knew. Those who live in immigrant communities knew. Those of us who followed his history while in the Senate knew. So how do so many manage their thoughts and feelings if they believe he is a good man when we all witness him overseeing unkind and inhumane policies? Do we give him a pass? No we do not.

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

This same friend, who works in a shelter in Mexico, told me she is very sick. “It’s stress,” she told me. “There is just so many coming back into Mexico. So many who are sick, scared, and traumatized. We are so overwhelmed. There are so many released from planes and buses that take them from one border town and drop them at this one because Mexico will take them back here. Some are from detention and they are sick. Many of them need hospitalization. It didn’t use to be like this. Even with MPP. The children coming out of US detention are hungry and dehydrated because they aren’t getting the food and water they need. The women are sick and in blood soaked pants because guards in detention aren’t giving them the needed sanitary supplies when they have their periods.” I need to say something and I need for you to understand this. That listening to this person sound so sad and so broken was heart-wrenching because she also happens to be one of the strongest women I know. So to hear this I know incredibly horrible things are happening for her to sound like this.

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

I received a phone call on the same day from another friend who shared what it has been like for her while volunteering in a large detention center that holds over 2,000 “unaccompanied” children. We all know why the majority of these (20,000+) children are unaccompanied. Because the racist Title 42 policy that doesn’t allow people to enter the United States unless they are children says that they carry disease and that they are dirty. We have heard this before. What horrific events in history have occurred because those in charge said the people being targeted and harmed were sick with a contagious disease/insects or dirty? We have seen this before. The parents of these children are terrified of them living in cartel occupied Mexican cities or of being sent back to the violent countries they fled, so the parents make the incredibly difficult decision to send them across, alone. Can you imagine being in a place where you need to make that decision? We are forcing this on them. Family separations are continuing under the Biden presidency.

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

Yesterday a friend who lives and volunteers on the Arizona border, told me that border wall construction resumed again. Another friend, an immigration attorney, told me that the Butterfly Center in TX just posted information about a neighbor/friend who just had her land seized by eminent domain for the wall. This occurred three months after Biden took office.

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

While being on a Zoom today another friend explained to us about the torture that was done to deportees sent back to their African countries. Torture that was carried out by us. On humans who were just asking for safety from the violence in their home countries, which they fled.

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

So back to the kinder, gentler president. Maybe he is. But maybe he’s not. Maybe it’s the system that is so deeply racist and money hungry and not him. Maybe not. Maybe the system is designed in a way that he really has little power. But, can that be true? Trump was in the same presidential position and he sure was able to muster the power to do huge things. We see Biden doing some pretty ambitious things. Many ae comparing him to FDR. He was a bigger than life president. Biden’s response to Covid (for USA) has been big. His infrastructure plan is a grand start. The Supreme Court and gun reform are ambitious too. These are all big things. So then the question must be asked, “If he can do those ambitious things, why does he not do this? Why not immigration reform?

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

I am sure that for most Americans who do not live along the southern border or in an immigrant community, this is abstract and far removed from them. But it’s not far removed from us as a country. If we allow this to be far removed and we do not respond to this, then it shows us and the world that this is exactly who we are as a country. Under our watch, thousands of people are being harmed, right here, because of our … our what? Our inability to right the wrongs? Our inability to muster the desire to care? Our inability to see that we can have a “good guy” as president but that because of whatever forces are so deeply ingrained and in place he can’t do what he needs to do to right this? Is it our inability to think that maybe he and those he surrounded himself with really think this is how it needs to be in order to keep us – what- safe? Personally, I keep coming back to racism and greed for money. We are a country built on racism and it’s always been about following the money. The private contracts, the money being made off of detention and deportation (In the three months since Biden took office he has deported over 150,000 vulnerable people back to the violence they fled). What is that about? How does a good man (and the country he leads) live with this? What mental acrobatics does he and we have to do to make all this alright?

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

Meanwhile Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is sending thousands of desperate, traumatized families, children, pregnant women, and men, who crossed into the US, right back to Mexico where they know no one and they are vulnerable to those who prey on them and hurt them. The officers do this under the orders of Title 42. Title 42 was implemented under trump but Biden refuses to rescind it. And at this same time, ICE is flying thousands of desperate, traumatized families, children, pregnant women, and men back to dangerous countries. All under the orders of Title 42.

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

When I was at a shelter in Juarez I saw that those asking for asylum but were returned to Mexico didn’t have shoelaces. The woman I was with explained why they didn’t have any shoelaces. It was intentional. The CBP officers took them. That meant that when they were returned to Mexico, it was obvious to the cartels who they were. The cartels waited for them. They waited for the women, the children, the men, all of whom were exhausted, scared, and with nothing to call their own sent to a land they didn’t know. That action put a target on their backs. We are still doing this. Under Biden we are still doing this! Women told us about being in the Iceboxes. The CBP cages we’ve seen photos of that are kept at freezing temperatures. The cages where there are many more people in them than they are designed to hold. Where they sleep on the floor with those god awful mylar blankets and are given frozen burritos 3 times a day. Where their medicines are taken from them and their medical and sanitary needs are ignored. For obvious reasons, they dreaded being in those things. We are still doing it. Thousands are sent back to Mexico and aren’t even told where they are going. Those deported are flown back to violent countries or countries destroyed by US imperialism or climate disasters or all of the above. When they get there they think they are in the USA. The guards laugh at them and tell them they are not. We’ve seen photos of mothers breaking down after being told this news. We are still doing it. When trump was in power, we said it was the cruelty that separated him from his predecessors even though they did it too. The cruelty remains. We are still doing it. So how, someone please tell me how, Biden is different? How is he the “good guy”, the “kind man”? And Mayorkas? What about him, a son of an immigrant, yet this is all occurring under his watch. Have the CBP, BP, and ICE agents and their agencies gone rogue? Or is this how they are designed to operate?

“But Joe is a good man,” they say.

Homestead two years ago. We are still here.

In solidarity we continue to work for a total dismantling of the immigration system and rebuild it in a way that is centered around keeping military and corporations out of the countries these people flee, as well as centering a humane welcoming when they arrive at our doorstep.

In peace and solidarity,

Mary

What’s Next? Post Card #7 Families Belong Together/End Title 42

What’s Next: Postcard Campaign Postcard #7

Mailing – March 23-25

FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER

For the past 3 months, many people around the country have been printing out postcards with specific immigration themes, writing short messages on them, and then sending them to top leaders of our country. This is the final postcard of this campaign. It’s probably not the last postcard campaign, but it’s the last of this initial one.

Of all the themes, end child detention, stop deportations, abolish ICE; this is the most important. Whoever you speak to in the “immigration needs to be humanely reformed” activism circles, they all say the same thing. In order to end all we feel is inhumane, we need to stop the racist and bogus Title 42.

What is Title 42? Through a health protection authority issued by Congress and used by Department of Health and Human services and Border Patrol to expel asylum seekers or others without “lawful travel documents”. It’s use to reject and expel those crossing the southern border began under the previous administration and continues under President Biden. It literally closed our southern border to anyone seeking asylum. Anyone who came across were denied entry or if they did enter, they were sent back. Many were flown back. They were expelled. It is said to keep us safe from people coming into the country with Covid. That is a lie. The border was open to business as usual so obviously that wasn’t the issue.

Background on Title 42: The Trump administration intentionally separated migrant children at the border in an effort to discourage those who were fleeing violence from coming to seek asylum. The Biden administration says it is working to reverse these cruel policies. However, Title 42 is still in effect and that means families are still being separated. The Title 42 Expulsion Provision, established under the previous administration, immediately expels all asylum seekers at the border without allowing them to make a case for asylum. The Trump administration used the pandemic as a reason for enacting this inhumane policy. However, the policy is only applied to asylum seekers, all others cross the border freely. Moreover, according to leading public health experts, including CDC doctors, expulsion to mitigate spread of covid has no basis in scientific fact. Children are now exempt from Title 42. As a result, many desperate families are opting to send unaccompanied children across the border alone. That means they are separated from their families and housed at the border or sent to child detention facilities. There are solutions that do not involve separating families and locking up children. While we applaud the change in attitude and effort under the new administration, more can and must be done to keep families together and allow them to seek asylum.

This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas (Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) and Xavier Becerra (Secretary of Health and Human Services)

  1. Download Postcard #7 – LInk here: https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/0839f-postcard728229.pdf

2. Print your postcards. Four postcards per sheet, double sided on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (4 1/4" x 5 1/2", 4 per sheet). If you can’t print double sided, you can print single side.

3. Write your postcards. We are keeping the talking points brief and specific::

  • Title 42 separates families.
  • Families belong together.
  • End title 42.
  • Restore asylum.

4. Addresses cards to:

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

Vice President Harris

The White House

Office of the Vice President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

2707 Martin Luther King, Jr.

SEWashington, DC 20528

The Honorable Xavier Becerra

Secretary of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 202015.

5) Apply a 36 cent stamp to each card. Mail between March 23-26.

Thank you. In solidarity as we move forward together in working for a just and compassionate immigration system,

Mary, Glen, Nancy, Patty, Karla, Julie, and Margaret

Tien: We Didn’t Know

Lotus flower in Hoi An, Vietnam

Tien was among 50 or so Vietnamese boarded on a flight to Vietnam. This wasn’t voluntarily. I don’t know Tien’s story except that he is the only one we have a name for. Someone who loves him tried to petition the state department not to take him away. Sadly she failed. He and the others are expected to land in Hanoi where they will presumably be whisked away and quarantined for 14 days. At least he will be fed and warm and allowed a place to sleep. But then what?

Since Joe Biden has become president he has overseen, and thus been responsible for, the deportation of over 26,000 human souls.

Let me repeat that:

Since Joe Biden has become president he has overseen, and thus been responsible for, the deportation of over 26,000 human souls.

I am so sorry Tien. I am so sorry to all those who our country has sent away from their families and to places they do not live. Under Obama, Deporter in Chief, we claimed we didn’t know. We didn’t know he was busy deporting 3,000,000 (some media sites such as CNN claim it to be closer to 5,000,000) people to countries of danger. Yet as a country, myself included, we remained silent to these horrific actions. Many of us even continue to idolize him (Obama) today. He is very handsome. He is incredibly articulate. He has a lovely looking family. But… But the country rose up when 45 crossed the line and separated families at the border. But wait, didn’t Obama separate 3,000,000 families? Every time someone was rounded up and sent to who knows where; wasn’t a family left behind grieving the separation?

Now we have Biden. The “kinder, gentler soul”. His lovely wife decorates the White House lawn with Valentine hearts. How lovely. Well, not really. Decorating with large hearts while breaking the hearts of 26,000 families is not, well it’s not OK. It’s not OK at all. It’s actually shameful and deceiving and dishonest.

I’m am so sorry Tien. I am so sorry to the families we have quietly turned away from because we didn’t know. I am so sorry to the families we continue to turn away, even though we know.

This post is dedicated to Karla. Thank you Karla for always (and I mean always) looking and seeing. No matter the time of day or night. And then reporting out, or greeting at the bus station or airport with a coffee to share.

In love and solidarity with all who work to end the racist, profit driven immigration system that is beyond cruel and broken.

Mary

What’s Next? Postcard Campaign #6 Stop Deportation Flights

MAILING MARCH 9-12
STOP DEPORTATION FLIGHTS

Join our postcard campaign to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas (Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) and Xavier Becerra (Secretary of Health and Human Services). Please follow these instructions:

1. Download Postcard #6 (Photos of ICE airplanes) https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/4a7fd-postcard6.pdf 2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you can’t print double sided, you can print single side.

3. Write your postcards. The theme for this card is Stop Deportation Flights. Talking points are suggested here: a) End Title 42 – the CDC order that ‘prevents’ entry based on health safety. Groups like Physicians for Human Rights say it’s unnecessary. b) Since Title 42 has been in place 100 million people have entered the country without health checks, but 440 thousand immigrants have been expelled. c) Stop ‘exporting’ COVID to vulnerable countries. Deportation flights are cruel during a pandemic d) Stop deporting people to places like Mauritania, where slavery still exists. And to Haiti and Cameroon, where violence and corruption are rampant e) Stop using inhumane treatments like ‘the Wrap’ to punish people during the deportation process. f) #WelcomeWithDignity #HaltAllDeportations #EndTitle42 #BlackImmigrantLivesMatter

4. Address the cards to:

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

Vice President Harris

The White House

Office of the Vice President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. SE

Washington, DC 20528

The Honorable Xavier Becerra

Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201.

Apply a 36 cent postcard stamp to each card

6. Drop your cards in the mail between March 9-12.

EXTRA CREDIT: Several What’s Next? participants have asked for additional people to send postcards to. If you would like to run an extra sheet, others you can write to are listed below. Ruiz is the Chair of the Congressional Caucus.

The Honorable Antony Blinken

Secretary of State

US Department of State

2201 C St., NW

Washington, DC 20520

Representative Paul Ruiz

2342 Rayburn HOB

Washington, DC 20515

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

235 Cannon HOB

Washington, DC 20515

And….Your member of Congress

Thank you for your ongoing support and work,

Mary, Karla, Julie, Glen, Nancy, Patty, Margaret

It’s Not What We Were Taught, Not Even Close

Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara 
Carmelita Torres
Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores
Lula da Silva
Leonard Peltier

Above are photos of just a few people who’s stories are not widely known by Americans, especially older white Americans (Click on the name under each person’s photo to go to an article about their life). They are the stories of those who spent part or all of their lives working for human rights. These are the stories I was never told. Purposefully, never told. Rather we, our country, centers and thus teaches us about the white wealthy imperialist voices as if they are the voices of history, the voices to learn and celebrate. This is how we keep capitalism and imperialism alive and strong. It’s deeply wrong, immoral, infuriating, and it took living half a century before I began to learn them.

While white Americans (and Europeans and Australians and Canadians) are in no way shape or form victims, I feel it is appropriate to share that the system that lied to us is also the system we benefited from. As the saying goes, “The winners are the ones who tell the history.” Their history. I have always wondered why my kids learned about the Revolutionary War over and over again during their years of schooling but never learned about World or US History of the 20th century. As the internet makes learning history and differing perspectives easier, many of us “boomers” are angered by what we are learning. Sadly though, it appears not enough of us are as angered as we should be. It’s so much easier to believe the lie than to confront that lie and the fact that you believed it most of your entire life.

Growing up, white middle class, I was taught and so I learned, that capitalism was the envy of the world. That socialism and communism were bad and that they were equivalent with authoritarianism and dictators who wanted to take freedoms away. Who’s freedoms? I never learned the words colonialism or imperialism or neoliberal. I went to Catholic schools and public schools. It didn’t really seem to matter. I won’t go into the blatant racism I was taught as well as the times I was taught to ignore it. Thankfully it didn’t take the internet for me to know how wrong they were and that experiencing them never felt right.

Years later, my quiet son grew up. He took to reading everything he could get his hands on about all the shit I was taught. It began when he was in 3rd grade and he was taught that women who have abortions kill their babies on purpose. Yes, he learned that in school. As we sat and talked about this incredibly difficult topic, he being a 9 year old and me being a teacher at that school, it became clear to him and me that the necessary depth of discussion to understand controversial topics were not given the time they needed. As he grew older and realized he wasn’t being taught the things he felt important, he took his education into his own hands. The internet, as well as a few good college professors adept at open and honest discussions and explorations, opened portals into other times, perspectives, opinions, countries, and beliefs. We have always had long conversations where I explained many things to him. But when he left home and began to explore on his own, it was him explaining to me. The things I learned from him, things that I was taught and he found to be untrue; well, it’s quite humbling to learn the truths about the lies you were taught from your child.

This brings us to the photos above of a few great people we never learned about. I left out the many we were lied about. If you don’t know them, take a minute to click on each name under their photo and read a little bit about them. If you find one to be interesting, read about the United States policies in their country at their time.

Here is the conclusion I have come to after the years of conversations with my son, years of reading online, and years of working to understand why we are so damn racist. My conclusion is that I was educated with propaganda that supported the belief that our country, the home of the free and the brave, was the greatest country to ever exist. That propaganda was all encompassing and purposefully left out facts. Many facts surrounding the horrid reality and history that our country was founded on stolen land. We carried out large scale genocides and enslavements of people, many, many people. But it didn’t just happen here, we spread this colonialism and imperialism around the world through our use of the largest military in the world. We were told the military was to keep us safe. I believed it. Then as I began to connect dots I wondered, why, if we were the best country on Earth, the country everyone envied, did we need so much military might to be safe? Safe from what? From whom? What we did not learn was that this military was in fact used to extract the natural resources from other countries. And if the leaders of those countries, such as those mentioned above, tried to protect their people and natural resources from our grab, well we would overthrow them, often via coups. We were taught that they committed human rights violations and that’s why we intervened. Wait, what? We are condemning other countries of human rights violations?! After our history of atrocities? And we are still doing it. This education was as far from the truth as could be. While our country was founded by rich, educated, white European guys with property and who could speak and write very well, they never intended the “for all” part. That was the biggest lie. So the fact that we began by stealing land from peoples who lived here, then through early colonialism, continued with westward “expansion”, and then expanded world wide by criminalizing those world leaders who had the insight and tenacity to nationalize their resources so their people, rather than our government backed corporations, could benefit from them. Well, here we are, understanding the lies we were taught.

That is what I have learned.

In honesty and peace,

Mary

What’s Next? Urgent PostCard Campaign – Imprisoning Children Is STILL Wrong

Homestead Migrant Child Camp, Homestead Florida 2019, Photo Credit – Julie Swift. Can you see the children being unloaded to the camp in the middle of the night? Why the secrecy?

Urgent Postcard – Mailing February 24-26

Because of this announcement What’s Next? is sharing this additional Post Card Campaign. Please share and send postcards. All you need to know is below. Thank you!

Recently the Biden administration has announced that it is opening/reopening several “Influx” Child Detention Centers. We oppose these moves and need to make sure that the Biden administration hears our opposition. 

Background:

We are deeply concerned, horrified in fact, about the reinstitution of mass detention facilities for teenagers and children who are seeking asylum from various parts of the world, particularly the notoriously dangerous and cartel-run nations in the Central American Triangle. We have been witnessing the horrors of the past four years and earlier. The law and policy require placement of unaccompanied immigrant/refugee minors in the least restrictive environment. We have seen that institutionalizing youth who have experienced prolonged and acute stressors, many for over a year, leaves them wounded and vulnerable. We have seen that hastily established detention facilities do not contribute to the well-being of the children who are already hurting. And we know that the prolonged detentions thousands have already experienced cause lasting damage. And adding a private-for-profit element to these detentions leads to inappropriate and unskilled staff working for low wages. In the past, these for-profit facilities, like Homestead, forbid outside monitors, even government employees and elected officials. Evidence of sexual assault, abuse, isolation, malnutrition, and health risks has emerged and been well-documented. Who is vetting the “caregivers”? How were profit-centered companies selected? We thought the Biden administration would do better. We expect a response to our concerns. Immediately.

We ask that the administration rethink the playbook on how to handle unaccompanied migrant children.  Approach this as a social service problem to be solved, not a military/detention problem.

“We’re more than capable of surging resources to the border to humanely and fairly process these children without sending them to influx facilities,” said Lisa Koop, the associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center.

This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas (Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) and Xavier Becerra (Secretary of Health and Human Services). If you can, we suggest you also write to your Senators and member of Congress. To make this a successful campaign, please follow these instructions for writing and mailing your cards:

1. Download the postcard (Photo image from Homestead Detention Center.)  https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/fbc92-urgenthomestead.pdf

2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo credit on the back) on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or  Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their  products that are 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single side. This postcard also looks good printed in black/white. 

3. Write your postcards. The theme for this card is Imprisoning Children is STILL Wrong. Talking points are suggested. In your own words, choose one or more topics to address:  

  1. Close Carrizo Springs. DO NOT OPEN Homestead/Biscayne Influx Care Facility,
  2. Restrictive detention is harmful to children
  3. Large scale detention is not a good model to use for caring for children.
  4. No one should profit – eliminate all for-profit detention.
  5. Influx facilities do not have to adhere to state child protective laws.
  6. These facilities should not be in out of the way locations where oversight is difficult.
  7. Hiring companies with a history of child abuse is alarming.
  8. Specific to Homestead: 
    1. Children are crossing the border in Texas, Arizona and California – why fly them all the way to Florida?
    2. The Site was devastated by hurricane Andrew and is known to be polluted with toxic waste.
    3. This area is prone to hurricanes.
  1. Address your cards to:

The President 

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 

Washington, D.C. 20500

Vice President Harris

The White House

Office of the Vice President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 

Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. SE 

Washington, DC 20528

The Honorable Xavier Becerra 

Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20201

4. Apply a 35cent postcard stamp to each card  

5. Drop your cards in the mail between February 24-26. 

EXTRA CREDIT  –

Several What’s Next? participants have asked for additional people to send postcards to. If you would like to run an extra sheet, others you can write to are listed below. Blinken is the Secretary of State. Ruiz is the Chair of the Congressional Caucus. Becerra is the Health and Human Services Secretary nominee.  

The Honorable Antony Blinken 

Secretary of State 

US Department of State 

2201 C St., NW 

Washington, DC 20520

 

Representative Paul Ruiz 

2342 Rayburn HOB 

Washington, DC 20515 

Representative Nancy Pelosi 

235 Cannon HOB 

Washington, DC 20515

Also if you can, send postcards to your members of Congress.

This cannot happen again. Thank you for your effort to end this inhumanity.

Mary, Karla, Julie, Glen, Margaret, Patty, Nancy

What’s Next?: Postcard Campaign Postcard #5

Restore Asylum – Humanity at the Border

Restore Asylum – Humanity at the Border

Mailing February 16-19

“Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety and a better future. It is
part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family.” — Ban Ki-moon
Postcard #5 addresses the influx at our Southern Border and humane options for welcoming
migrating people from Mexico, Central America and beyond.
With a new administration, there is the promise of ending many of the inhumane and racist
policies enacted by the Trump Administration. Our talking points inform and remind the Biden
administration to address the root causes that force people to flee for their lives, call for policies
that make the immigration process more navigable, and quickly make the declarations of the
Executive Orders that have been signed a reality. Those who present themselves at our borders
should be treated with dignity and humanity. Seeking asylum is a human right.
Thank you for your time and commitment to sending these postcards to the people who can
make this happen.
This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas
(Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) and Xavier Becerra (Secretary of Health
and Human Services). To make this a successful campaign, please follow these instructions for
writing and mailing your cards:

  1. Download Postcard #5 (photo collage of four images at the border). https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/3fa67-postcard528129.pdf
  2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo
    credit on the back) on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has
    postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their products that are 4 1/4″
    x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single
    side.
  3. Write your postcards on the theme: Restore Asylum. Talking points are suggested. Create
    your own way to hit one or more of these points.
  4. Talking points for Postcard 5 – Restore Asylum:
    • President Biden ended MPP for new arrivals. He must FULLY END MPP for
    those who have been stuck waiting in make-shift camps in Mexico.
    • Asylum cases that were denied during MPP should be reconsidered.
    • Urgent action is still needed to transit vulnerable migrants to safety in the
    U.S. (Human Rights First).
    • More judges, counselors and translators are needed to accelerate the immigration
    process.
    • End Title 42, theCDC order that requires immediate expulsion for new migrants.
  1. Download Postcard #5 (photo collage of four images at the border).
  2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo
    credit on the back) on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has
    postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their products that are 4 1/4″
    x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single
    side.
  3. Write your postcards on the theme: Restore Asylum. Talking points are suggested. Create
    your own way to hit one or more of these points.
  4. Talking points for Postcard 5 – Restore Asylum:
    • President Biden ended MPP for new arrivals. He must FULLY END MPP for
    those who have been stuck waiting in make-shift camps in Mexico.
    • Asylum cases that were denied during MPP should be reconsidered.
    • Urgent action is still needed to transit vulnerable migrants to safety in the
    U.S. (Human Rights First).
    • More judges, counselors and translators are needed to accelerate the immigration
    process.
    • End Title 42, the CDC order that requires immediate expulsion for new migrants.
  1.   Addresses to mail cards:

The President 

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 

Washington, D.C. 20500

Vice President Harris

The White House

Office of the Vice President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 

Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

2707 Martin Luther King, Jr. SE 

Washington, DC 20528

The Honorable Xavier Becerra 

Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20201

6. Apply a 35 cent postcard stamp to each card

7. Drop your cards in the mail between February 16-19.

This is a critical time to let our newly elected officials know that they need to restore asylum and humanity at the border. They vowed to do this and their delay is causing more unnecessary pain and suffering for those waiting to come in. As immigration justice activists, it is imperative that we speak up for the thousands who can’t, and remind this administration that now MPP is on the Biden watch, that Title 43 is on the Biden watch. We were outraged when it occurred under the previous administration and we are as outraged now.
Thank you for taking the few minutes to get these post cards in the mail.

Mary, Karla, Julie, Glen, Patty, Nancy, Margaret

Keep Going!

Millions of folks are mobilized and working for change. The last administration did this. It taught us that democracy is fragile. That we need to work to create the economic and social justice changes we need. As the first week of the Biden administration shows us, we matter. Our voices matter. When we unite, stand strong, and raise our voices, we are heard. Maybe not right away. Maybe not quite how we want. But if we continue, we will be heard.

When Obama was president many of us were so grateful. So full of hope. And because we saw him as we wanted to see him rather than how he was, we ignored things we shouldn’t have. His use of drones…we should have been in the streets yelling over this. His creation of family detention centers for immigrants and his deportation of 3,000,000 people…we should have been in the streets yelling over this. His bailout of Wall St. His lack of comprehensive climate initiatives. His big brother is watching. We should have been in the streets for them all. But we were lulled by his smooth talking, his grace and charm, his good looks, his intelligence, his love of his wife.

So now we know and now we do better. Whether it’s a monster in our White House or someone we admire. We must continue our work. To stay informed. To stay active. To not be lulled into complacency.

Thank you all the strong people who keep going. Keep working for the equality for all. I see you; even when you are exhausted, close to tears, sick of fast food. So thank you. Thank you for focusing on that short phrase, “…for all”.

In solidarity, strength, and love,

Mary

What’s Next? Postcard 4 – End Immigrant Detention

Being held in Strafford County Jail, Dover,NH

President Joe Biden signed into order the ending of federal contracts with private for profit prisons. This is a very hopeful first step. However, this sadly does not include immigrant detention centers. The inhumane practice of rounding up hard working immigrants, separating them from their families, detaining them in inhumane detention centers, and deporting them back to the violent countries they fled must end. That’s what the message of this week’s postcard campaign is addressing. End Immigrant Detention. Close Immigrant Detention Centers.

Everything you need for this What’s Next? Postcard 4 campaign, End Immigrant Detention, is below. This campaign requires you to print off one sheet of card stock paper that has 4 copies of the image above, cut the postcards, write your brief message on the 4 postcards (only 4!), address them, stamp them, and mail between Feb 2-5, 2021. See instructions below. Thank you. Together we will end this inhumane practice.

Our luck with the timing of this campaign, with the administration’s and country’s focus on ending private prisons, means we must send these cards out in mass. The message must be clear and strong. End Immigrant Detention. Close Immigrant Detention Centers. Thank you for participating.

This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Alejandro Mayorkas (nominated to be head of the Department of Homeland Security) and Xavier Becerra (nominated to be head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Download Postcard #4 (photo collage of immigrant detention images).
Images available here: https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/37593-postcard4.pdf

Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo credit on the back) on card stock. You can purchase card stock and cut apart or Avery has postcard stock available that is perforated for separation (any of their products that are 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″, 4 per sheet). If you do not have capability to print double sided, you can print single side.

Write your postcards on the theme: End Immigrant Detention. Talking points are suggested. Please hit one or more of these points.

Talking points for Postcard 4 –  End Immigrant Detention:
The entire system of detaining asylum seekers and immigrants must end. 
Children and families are still being held in Family Detention Centers!
#FreeTheFamlies
Should humans be treated like criminals for simply seeking asylum?
Immigrant detention is a huge money maker – 80% of immigrants are incarcerated in prisons owned by private companies. 
End all private prisons!
ICE acts with impunity, with disregard for Congressional oversight.
Abuse in immigrant detention facilities, from the notorious lack of medical care to sexual abuse, forced sterilization, and use of severe punishments such as isolation for perceived behavioral infractions, is rampant.
In 2020, 21 people died in ICE detention.
During the COVID 19 pandemic, detained immigrants are in danger. People have not been released by ICE and COVID is spreading within facilities and in communities with ICE facilities.
Humane alternatives to detention where asylum seekers and immigrants can be with their families or sponsors as they wait for their court hearings exist.  
Alternatives take much less taxpayer money to implement.
Do not build new detention centers.
Do not renew contracts.
Dismantle detention centers. 

Addresses to mail cards: 
The President 
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 
Washington, D.C. 20500 

Vice President Harris
The White House
Office of the Vice President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas 
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528 

The Honorable Xavier Becerra 
Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Thank you for your help and support. Together we can end the inhumane practice of detention.

Mary, Julie, Karla, Glen, Nancy, Margaret, Patty