MADISON, NJ – Members of Action Together New Jersey (ATNJ) and Lawyer Moms of America will host a statewide protest at several U.S. House Representatives' offices on Friday, June 29 at 11 a.m. to "Deliver The Message" that New Jersey voters want separated families reunited and federal policy of separating migrant children from their families changed. This statewide event is part of a national day of action in multiple states.
"Separating thousands of young children from their parents to put broken families in cages, warehouses, tent cities in blistering heat and now on military bases in the care of strangers who may not even speak the same language is unconscionable," said Uyen "Winn" Khuong, Executive Director of ATNJ.
"I cannot imagine anything more heartless than tearing a small vulnerable child away from his or her parents," said Daysi Martinez-George, Immigration Director of ATNJ. "Many members of our group are beside themselves just hearing this news second-hand, that our Republican-controlled government is causing this traumatic pain upon families and children through cruel changes in policy. Hearing the children cry on the recording obtained by ProPublica was itself traumatic."
ATNJ has encouraged members and the public to call Republican members of Congress daily at (202) 224-3121 to ask that they cosponsor and advocate for the Keep Families Together Act, Senate bill S.3036 and House bill H.R. 6135, which address the family separation policy specifically and do not attempt broader immigration reform. The group feels the bills should therefore be noncontroversial and easy to support.
"The Executive Order exacerbated the problem," said Rielly Karsh, co-lead of Lawyer Moms of America's New Jersey chapter and Central Regional Director for ATNJ. "The Administration has replaced family separation with family detention, which violates the Flores settlement. It prosecutes asylum seekers, which is antithetical to family values. They are taking traumatized people who have escaped violence to come here for safety, separating them and warehousing them in chain-link cages. There is no ethical defense for these practices."
Lawyer Moms of America will present an open letter to New Jersey's Republican U.S. House Representatives on June 29 at noon. The event post on Facebook lists the addresses where the petition deliveries and protests will take place. Any organization wishing to cosponsor the event can reach out to Uyen "Winn" Khuong at email@example.com. Anyone interested to read the open letter and sign the petition may do so using this link.
"You don't have to be a lawyer or a mom to sign," said Karsh. "All you need to do is care."
About Action Together New Jersey
ATNJ, a non-profit, progressive group, is the largest grassroots organization in New Jersey. ATNJ has chapters in every county, because change is local. Functioning as a central command for statewide initiatives and legislative actions, ATNJ’s teams work with coalitions of like-minded groups to serve the public by educating the electorate, providing a platform for progressive candidates, advancing legislative proposals with elected officials, and working in concert with advocacy groups for human rights. ATNJ seeks to promote equality and progressive ideals and to secure a more inclusive, fair and equitable future for New Jersey and the nation. For more information, visit www.ATNJ.org.