The news of undocumented families being separated at the border has been the only thing on anyone’s minds these days and it’s left the nation devastated. Rosario Dawson has been using her platform to bring awareness to what’s been happening with these child refugees. She recently partnered with San Fernando Valley Refugee Center to help shine a light on how these children are being deeply affected by these separations.
In a recent video, Dawson reads a powerful and emotional letter from a child refugee who crossed the Mexican border to seek asylum. It’s called “A Letter From a Survivor.”
“On my way home from school one evening, I was violently beaten by two gang members. I managed to escape their grasp and fled. Days later I received a threat. Join them or my family and I will be killed. I’ll never forget the horrible journey through Mexico,” she reads. “The things I went through. But I’m here now and I can’t look back. Thousands of us crossed the desert into the United States from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. We left behind everyone we loved as we fled from gang conscription, forced prostitution and even the promise of certain death. We lived our entire lives under the rules of gangs. Gangs that the U.S. created. We’ve been forced to make a journey no child should ever have to make and a real shot at asylum is our only chance at safety. We are here and we need your help. The Refugee Children Center is in desperate need of help to pay for the lawyers who can fight for these survivors. Please share this video and consider contributing to the center.
Over 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the border since President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy went into affect. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ has even cited the Bible to defend the policy. Though more than 600 members of the United Methodist Church he attends have filed formal complaints against him charging that his “zero-tolerance” policy on immigration actually violates church rules and could constitute as child abuse. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson has also defended it and remained silent when a leaked audio recording of children crying after being separated at the border was played at a press briefing. The bad press must had eventually gotten to the administration because on Wednesday Trump signed an executive order to end the separation of migrant families at the border to keep them together while detained.
Regardless, there are still thousands of children who have been separated from their families and taken to shelters across the country, in states like Michigan, New York, and South Carolina, which are all relatively far from Texas. The worse part is, many of these children probably won’t be reunited with their parents at least not any time soon. Trump’s new order won’t help these kids who have already been separated from their families.
Even despite the Trump administration’s tough policies, families from Central American countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras still continue to flee to the U.S. because their chances at staying alive in their gang-ruled countries are slim to none. The violence by gangs and drug cartels are so dangerous they are left with no other option than to leave.
“If my country would be OK, I would be there happily with my child,” a 27-year-old Honduran woman named Patricia de Jesús Flores told NBC News. When the only option you have to keep you and your children alive is to flee a country, that’s exactly what you do. Imagine being a child who not only had to flee their country but then are later separated from your family with no clue as to when you’ll ever see them again? These stories are real and heartbreaking and these kids need our help now more than ever.