Groups encourage participation in national Kids Take a Stand event on July 28 and caravans to the U.S.-Mexico border arriving August 6
Grassroots organizations Lawyer Moms of America and Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden, both founded within the past six weeks in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the U.S. government’s “zero tolerance” policy, announced today that they are partnering to stand up for migrant families.
On Saturday, July 28, 2018, kids across the nation will participate in Kids Take a Stand, sponsored by Lawyer Moms of America. The premise is simple, but powerful: kids and families across the nation will host lemonade stands to raise awareness of the ongoing separation and detention of migrant families and to raise funds to speed up the safe reunification of families. All proceeds from the lemonade stands will benefit Project Corazon, a national coalition of law firms and immigration law nonprofits, to provide legal assistance for the safe reunification of families. Lemonade stands already are planned all across the country, and additional stands are being added daily as moms and families across the nation hear about Kids Take a Stand and want to get involved. Kids Take a Stand follows Lawyer Moms of America’s June 29 congressional day of action, when over 1,000 members across the country hand delivered an open letter to Members of Congress demanding an end to family separation and detention. The open letter was signed by more than 11,000 supporters and delivered to 326 Members of Congress across 49 states.
On Tuesday, July 31, a group of grandmothers, grandfathers, and others, calling themselves Grannies Respond, will depart from New York City in a caravan headed to McAllen, Texas. Seeking to bring a message of love and compassion to this grim policy debate, they will stop in Reading, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Louisville, KY, Montgomery, AL, New Orleans, LA, and Houston, TX. Each stop will includee a mix of public demonstrations, vigils, and singing with local immigrant rights, interfaith, and other activist groups. Their original caravan has become a national movement. Caravans are forming in every corner of the country, from Florida to California, to meet in McAllen, Texas, on August 6. Grannies from across the country will then engage in24 hours of action: rallies, vigils, and volunteering with local groups..
Since April, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the U.S. border as a result of the Department of Justice’s “zero tolerance” policy. Despite a court order to reunite all separated children with their parents, thousands of children remain in government custody and institutional care, in large part because the government separated them without establishing any way of tracking them. Even infants and children under 5 years old remain separated from their parents. The government has been ordered to reunite all children with their parents by July 26, and has already publicly said that meeting the July 26 deadline will be a challenge. The government’s failure to reunify families and treat them with dignity is unacceptable, and replacing family separation with family detention also is unacceptable.
All concerned individuals are encouraged to hold a lemonade stand on July 28 as part of Kids Take a Stand and to join the Grannies caravan at any of their stops along the way to McAllen. You don’t need to be a lawyer, a mom, or a grandmother.
“It is unacceptable that thousands of migrant children are still separated from their parents. Sometimes on the opposite sides of the country. The goal of Kids Take a Stand is to bring continued visibility to the plight of the thousands of children who have yet to be reunited. We will not rest until every single child is returned to their parents” said Tovah Kopan, a lawyer from New Jersey and co-founder of Lawyer Moms of America, the group that is sponsoring Kids Take a Stand. “Each of us lawyer moms would do anything to keep our children safe. Each of us swore an oath to defend the Constitution. We will not let this unconscionable practice stand on our watch.” Lawyer Moms of America is honored to be coordinating volunteer attorneys to support members of Grannies Respond.
“Grandparents often teach their children and grandkids morality and give them a sense of right and wrong. The cruel and inhumane way that immigrant children and their families are being treated is wrong and immoral. We can’t sit still and watch children being ripped from the arms of their moms and dads. Children do not belong in cages and internment camps. These practices can cause irreparable harm to children. We have a moral obligation to act. We are riding to the border with a simple message: reunite families, end family detention, and treat all human beings with respect and dignity. We are delighted to have the support of Lawyer Moms of America during our journey,” said Roya Salehi, one of the founding Grannies of Grannies Respond.
About Lawyer Moms for America
Lawyer Moms of America is a non-partisan, grassroots coalition with more than 17,500 lawyer moms and supporters across the U.S. that started with one single purpose: the immediate end to the inhumane and illegal policy of separating migrant children from their parents. Our membership spans all political parties and affiliations and all 50 states. Lawyer Moms of America started in June 2018 with five members who connected on Facebook after hearing from another lawyer mom who represented a migrant mother at the border tell of her child being forcibly taken from her arms.
About Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden
Grannies Respond is a spontaneous action led by grandmothers, the moral compasses of our families, to end the inhumane treatment of refugees entering our country for safety. It began as a local group of women from Beacon, NY, who wanted to “go down to the border and just do something”. In a few short weeks, it has become a nationwide movement of hundreds - if not thousands - of grandmothers across the country driving to the border to bring compassion, commons sense, and human decency to the immigration debate.