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

A Long Road

Since the election I have experienced something that has surprised me. It shouldn’t be surprising since we, as a collective body, are recovering from 4 years of gaslighting, division, and hate. Add to that, a year of global sickness and death. We are all in a rough place right now. We are exhausted and emotionally bruised. But still the experiences surprised me.

Like a mobile that sets out to correct itself after a breeze we are re-balancing ourselves to a new dance under a new administration. While there is hope, there is clearly still an immense amount of work to be done. So we reposition ourselves to begin that work. But even with the amount of struggling we are each experiencing, shaming should not have a place in the work we do. Especially if we expose peace and justice. It’s simple, shaming causes the receiver harm. It is a form of violence. It is something we all have done at some point. If I reflect honestly on times in my past when I have done it, I feel immense sadness and those times fill me with deep regrets. Shaming often comes from a knee jerk defensive reaction and a strong emotion. But it is important that we notice it and call it out when we see it and/or experience it. Shaming is not a sign of a bad person. It is a sign of a struggling person. But left unchecked it can cause great harm. May we all work to reject this form of communication as we move forward with our work.

May we all continue to work and grow in peace, love, and acceptance,

Mary

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it. Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb

What’s Next? Postcard Campaign #3 – The World is Watching

Vice President Harris at Homestead, Florida child detention facility and First Lady Biden at Matamoros, Mexico encampment at southern border.

What’s Next? Postcard Campaign #3 – The World Is Watching

Send your 4 postcards the week of Jan 19-22 , the week of the Inauguration.

Most of us are feeling incredible anticipation as we wait with baited breath for the inauguration of our new President and Vice President in less than two weeks. It is obvious that this is a very dangerous time and the danger will likely continue through the Inauguration and beyond. But we cannot lose sight of the thousands of people; good, kind people; who are stuck at the border holding their breath as hard as we are holding ours for this Inauguration. We must keep the pressure up on President Biden and Vice President Harris. (Yes, I purposefully called them President and Vice President and omitted Elect because they are acting presidential). So as we continue to be the voices of the voiceless we have our 3rd postcard campaign ready to roll out.

This campaign means that we each send out 4 postcards. That’s it – 4 (although there is an option with this and future postcards for sending 8). All 4 postcards are on one sheet of paper for easy printing. Print the sheet, cut the cards, write the simple and strong message, address, stamp, and mail. That’s it. Easy. (On the What’s Next? Facebook page there are links for all of the remaining postcards to make it easier for you to print them all at once if you need to.)

Why are we doing this? As our new President, Vice President, and Cabinet begin their service we need to continue to remind them of the injustices our policies and actions have on marginalized groups of people who have been severely harmed over the past few decades and particularly the past 4 years. We need to make our demands clear and heard. That’s what this postcard campaign is designed to do. Thousands of postcards, all with the same message, appearing on the desks of those in a position of power to do something about it. Thank you for participating in this action. It’s simple and proves to be effective.

Please once you print out your cards, share this campaign with your church, book group, family, friends, and anyone you can think of. We know that there are huge issues at the forefront of our country right now. Our Democracy is at stake. But this is part of our democracy and part of who we are. We cannot, should not, turn our backs on the thousands our inhumanity has harmed. So this is why we continue. It’s just that important if we are to become who we say we are.

Postcard link:
https://heartmessageshome.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/206de-postcard3.pdf

Writing Instructions for What’s Next: Postcard Campaign Postcard #3

Mailing January 19-22

The World is Watching

This campaign is being sent to President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Alejandro Mayorkas (nominated to head Department of Homeland Security). To make this a successful campaign, please follow these instructions for printing, writing and mailing your cards:

1. Download Postcard #3 (photo of Dr. Jill Biden at Matamoros and Kamala Harris at Homestead). You can find it above or here.

2. Print your postcards: Four postcards per sheet, double sided (needs to include the photo credit on the back) on card stock (around 60 lb is a good weight). 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. The theme for this card is A New Administration – the World is Watching. Talking points are suggested. Create your own way to hit one or more of these points.

a) The world is watching the new administration. We must restore our humanity towards those fleeing danger and asking for our help.

b) The previous administration seems to have forgotten that seeking asylum is legal.

c) Asylum-seekers, fleeing violence, have been subjected to abuse, deprivation, kidnappings and sex trafficking at our border.

d) Women have been subjected to forced sterilizations.

e) Immigrants who do not pose a threat have been jailed without cause, subject to infection from covid 19, and deported to countries they do not know.

f) To President Biden:– President Biden, you said during your campaign that you would end MPP on day one. – The First Lady visited Matamoros and witnessed the inhumane treatment of those subject to Trump’s policy.- You said you would undo the damage Trump’s presidency has done to our immigrants and asylum-seekers.- Children, even babies, have been cruelly taken from their families.- You said you would work to reunite them.- What’s Next for these victims of Trump’s cruel policies? It’s now in your hands.

Address to: The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

g) To Dr. Jill Biden:- You visited with children and their families, waiting at the Matamoros refugee camp while they try to apply for asylum.- They are subject to abuse, deprivation, kidnappings, sex trafficking. – MPP, Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy put them here.- Dr. Biden, you said this situation is “not who we are as Americans.” – What’s Next for the victims of MPP?

Address to: Dr. Jill Biden

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

h) To VP Harris:- The photo shows you standing on a ladder in Homestead, Florida, in June,2019, connecting with the children imprisoned behind the fences.- You called the treatment of innocent children seeking safety “a human rights abuse.”- You promised to close private detention centers.- You said America has made a commitment to “protect anyone fleeing or facing harm.”- Now you are in a position to make a difference, end Trump’s inhumane practices.- What’s Next for those seeking asylum?

Address to:

The White House – Office of the Vice President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

e) To Alejandro Mayorías- The new administration has promised to reverse Trump’s worst immigration policies.- ICE raids, family separation, MPP, detentions are cruel and inhumane. – As Dr. Jill Biden said when she visited the refugee camps, “This is not who we are as Americans.”- With Trump gone, What’s Next for those seeking asylum?- Will you work to restore humane treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers?

Address to:

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528

4. Apply a 35 cent postcard stamp to each card

5. Drop your cards in the mail between January 19-22.

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:

The Honorable Anthony Blinken

Secretary of State, US Department of State

2201 C St., NW

Washington, DC 20520

The Honorable Xavier Becerra

Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Raul Ruiz

2342 Rayburn HOB

Washington, DC 20515

Speaker Pelosi

1236 Longworth H.O.B.

Washington, DC 20515

4. Apply a 35 cent postcard stamp to each card

5. Drop your cards in the mail between January 19-22.

Thank you. Together we can end the inhumainty.

In strength,

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