On Sunday, we watched in horror as the Trump administration shut down our border and used tear gas against mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who traveled thousands of miles seeking safety, protection, and opportunity at our door. These acts are immoral, illegal, and a shameful betrayal of our values. The families at our border are no different than the thousands who came before them and were greeted at our shores by the Statue of Liberty. 

After watching families like the one above run from tear gas, we can no longer proudly proclaim to be a beacon of hope for people fleeing persecution and poverty.

This humanitarian crisis was created by the president. For the past two years, this administration has worked to undermine international and U.S. law by impeding the right of asylum seekers to present their cases for consideration at our border - from shutting our border to all but a trickle of applicants to unilaterally restricting asylum claims, that will even be considered. As a result, thousands of families and individuals have been stranded for months, fearfully awaiting answers about their futures and their safety. On top of creating this unfair process and inhuman treatment, the president and candidates running in the midterms used dehumanizing language and deliberate lies to drum up fear against the people traveling as part of the migrant caravan.  When dangerous rhetoric like this is used, it's no surprise how we got here.  

Our members of Congress play an important role in condemning these shameful actions and upholding our values. This week, Congress is discussing the funding for ICE and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) - the agencies responsible for this weekend's atrocities, tearing families apart, and terrorizing our communities. ICE and CBP must not be rewarded. Instead, Congress should use all of their oversight powers to hold the administration accountable, ensure due process for asylum seekers, and restore our legacy as a beacon of hope.

Today is a national call-in day to ask Congress to #DefundHate. Will you take 1 minute to call your members of Congress?

P.S. TIRRC is part of a national campaign, #RefugeForFamilies, that is coordinating transnational support for those traveling in the migrant caravan. If you are an attorney, medical professional, or faith leader interested in volunteering across the border contact lisa@tnimmigrant.org for how to apply.  Or if you would like to donate to support the national fund, visit here.