The testimonies of children in the “While in Our Care” videos can be difficult to hear — but awareness of these stories drives us to insist that children never again be subjected to such treatment by our government. These particular testimonies from children held in U.S. care in 2019 allow for an honest realization that this kind of treatment is possible, and, if unchecked, could happen again within our current immigration system, processes, and procedures. Regardless of who is president, as Christians we want to stand in the gap for vulnerable children, insisting that our government always prioritize their well-being and protection.
So, what can we do?
We can advocate together.
We’ve seen the power of our collective voices before in this community, so let’s keep going.
Let’s make sure this current administration knows how much we care.
As an educator and a mother, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden has been clear that she cares about children. She has unique influence on the president and we are hopeful she would see the value and advocate on behalf of our collective concerns, as outlined in the following letter. We invite you to add your name to our letter to the First Lady, which we will deliver in the coming weeks.
Dear Dr. Biden,
Like you, we are women who are deeply concerned about the wellbeing and protection of children. We are moved by the difficult testimonies of migrant children in U.S. custody in recent years. Motivated by our Christian faith, we want to ensure that the unacceptable situations in which migrant children have been held never occurs again, and we’d ask you to be an advocate within your husband’s administration for prioritizing the protection of vulnerable migrant children.
Specifically, we urge the Biden administration to:
- Ensure that children are never again systematically separated from parents when encountered along the border and that they never be held in jail-like detention facilities or other inappropriate conditions. Children belong, whenever possible, in the nurturing environment of their own families, and when that ideal is not possible, in the least restrictive environment possible, not in detention centers.
- Expeditiously reunite children who were separated from their parents during the previous administration and provide every support possible to help children heal from the trauma that they have experienced while in the care of the United States government.
- Ensure that all children who interact with the Border Patrol and other entities of the United States government are treated humanely and that unaccompanied children, in particular, are cared for and protected under the terms of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and the Flores Settlement Agreement, then reunited with their parents or other family members as quickly as possible.
- Leverage the influence of the United States to address extreme poverty, violence, governmental corruption, and environmental degradation in Central America. We ask that the administration work alongside those seeking safety and flourishing by partnering with faith-based and other non-governmental organizations abroad and exploring safe migration options closer to migrants’ homes in order to reduce the necessity for a dangerous journey north.
Dr. Biden, we are praying for you, for your husband, and for his entire administration, as well as for Congress and all those entrusted with positions of influence, that you would always prioritize the well-being and flourishing of all vulnerable children, regardless of their country of origin.