Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues
Immigrant Detention Abuses and Family Separation Policies Continue
Immigration is about our national identity, and what we aspire to be as a country. Yet under the cover of the Covid-19 emergency, the Trump administration has yet again escalated its attacks on immigrant rights.
Last week, reports emerged detailing the use of major hotel chains for the detention of child immigrants as young as a year old. This shadow detention system operated by transportation contractors with no certifications in child care severely lacks deportation safeguards. Additionally, the system is out of reach of policies designed to prevent abuse in federal custody.
The program is a byproduct of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) continuing family separation policies that keep parents and children in separate systems, with cruel and unclear procedures for each.
Meanwhile, conditions in ICE's standard detention facilities remain inhumane. Covid-19 has spread at alarming rates in these facilities in recent months and stories of children going without toothbrushes, changes of clothes, and adequate supervision have been reported for years. This week, lawyers for Muslim immigrants detained in Florida filed a complaint documenting a pattern in which Muslim immigrants’ have been forced to choose between rotten food or breaking with their faith and eating pork for over two years.
Use The Opportunity Agenda's Talking About Imprisoned Children at The Border. Make sure to lead with the values of Community, Family, Dignity and Voice and remind audiences that we should strive to be a compassionate and humane nation that respects the value of family and the dignity of migrants, particularly children.
Upcoming Media Hooks & Events
August 26 - September 3
Events and Cultural Hooks:
August 26, 8 p.m. ET — Verses and Voices, Poems for the Resistance, presented by Tax March, Color of Change and Write About Now Poetry.
August 28 — The Movement for Black Lives' Black National Convention will feature a series of conversations, performances, and other activations geared toward engaging, informing, and mobilizing Black communities.
September 3, 3 p.m. ET — Just Leadership USA hosts Divest to Save Black Lives. Invest to Heal Communities: Advancing a New Vision for Justice
September is the final month enumerators will count residents for the 2020 Census. Trillions of dollars in decisions on how to allocate resources over the next decade will be based on the count, which is being cut off early by the Trump administration despite the challenges of counting accurately amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Now is the time to remind everyone in your community to make sure they are counted, and why the census matters.
September is Hunger Action Month when Feeding America and the nationwide network of food banks spread the word and take collective action on the hunger crisis. Our current unprecedented spike in joblessness combined with inadequate aid programs have stretched food banks' resources.
September is also National Recovery Month, which raises awareness about mental illness and substance abuse disorders. It also provides the opportunity to talk about harm reduction, alternatives to incarceration, and the need for health insurance and federally-supported programs, many of which are under threat by Congress. Cite the values of Redemption and Community.
Birthdays and Anniversaries:
August 26, 1920 — the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was formally adopted. While a groundbreaking accomplishment, it only gave white women the right to vote since Jim Crow laws prevented many women of color from exercising this right for decades.
August 28, 1955 — African-American teenager Emmett Till was abducted for allegedly offending a white woman. His brutalized body was found a few days later.
August 28, 1963 — During the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
August 29, 2005 — Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. The humanitarian disaster that followed laid bare racial and economic inequities.
August 31, 1964 — President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Food Stamp Act, which formalized the federal program now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Trump administration has attacked SNAP benefits through executive orders over the objections of Congress even as food insecurity rises amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
September 3, 1916 — President Woodrow Wilson signs into law the Adamson Act, which established an eight-hour workday, with additional pay for overtime work, for railroad workers