We Must Still Unlock the Future for Immigrant Women and Girls
In the fall of 2019, we launched our “Unlock the Future“campaign on behalf of the women and girls who were being held in Donald Trump’s horrific and immoral detention prisons. We issued a Bill of Rights and held rallies along the border along with elected officials, local leaders, coalition partners and others.
Today, our advocacy for, and solidarity with this community in crisis is more important than ever. The influx of unaccompanied migrant minors continues to grow exponentially, and as of this week, the number of migrant children in custody has passed 15,000.
The photos published this week of overcrowded rooms with walls made of plastic sheeting are disturbing, to say the least. We know that President Biden and Vice President Harris are working hard to undo the inhumane policies enacted by Donald Trump, but we also know that we have to keep the pressure on.
The reality is that the new administration must look at the bigger picture to address the root causes of migration. They are pushing comprehensive immigration policies that will create pathways to citizenship while keeping mothers and their children together. We must hold our leaders accountable to this work because for too many decades this issue has been pushed aside and the last four years have taught us it cannot go unchecked.
NOW is advocating for important changes on two fronts to address this crisis. We must end the abusive practices in the current system of immigration detention, and we must recognize and repair the damage this system has done to the health of women and girls.
This report from the Center for American Progress details three critical areas where some of the worst rights violations have occurred in detention centers: maternal health, reproductive autonomy, and mental health. And here’s an overview of the alarming range of psychological effects migrants experience while being held in a detention center.
We’re also pressing for the immediate passage of the “American Dream and Promise Act,” which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to earn permanent status and eventual citizenship. NOW is calling on members to help get this vital bill through the Senate.
Congress must take action and make the Dream Act the law of the land, permanently. Dreamers live, study, and work as Americans and they should be afforded the same rights and protections as every citizen.