Now is a critical time for Congress and the administration to ensure unaccompanied children and their caregivers receive the support they need so that children have a safe and stable home and community where they are protected from exploitative and dangerous working conditions. Congress must also ensure that unaccompanied children and their families have access to child-appropriate, trauma-informed, and culturally and linguistically competent care and services that help them thrive in their homes and communities.
Call your Members of Congress TODAY and urge them to protect children through strengthening and enforcing child labor law; invest in post-release services, home studies, child advocates, legal representation, and local services that support unaccompanied children and their families; and fully restore asylum protections.
CONTACT YOUR TWO SENATORS AND ONE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY
On the right-hand side, you can send an email or make a phone call that connects you to your Members of Congress!
Sample Email/Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and [as a person of faith/refugee/member of my community], I am asking you to ensure unaccompanied children and their caregivers receive the support they need so that children have a safe and stable home and community where they are protected from exploitative and dangerous working conditions. I urge you to ensure unaccompanied children receive the protection and support they need by:
- Protecting children through strengthening and enforcing child labor law.
- I urge Congress to hold companies accountable for profiting off the labor exploitation of children by questioning them about their hiring practices and ensuring appropriate fines that can be imposed on companies that commit child labor violations.
- I ask Congress to hold the administration accountable to ensure the Department of Labor and its state offices protect children from labor exploitation at the national, state, and local levels — and ensure the agency has the funding to do so.
- Robustly funding post-release services, promptly-completed and culturally competent home studies, child advocates, and legal representation for all unaccompanied children.
- Robustly-funded, promptly-implemented, and culturally competent post-release services and home studies ensure that family reunifications are and remain safe and stable. Post-release services provide each child with access to education, medical and mental healthcare, and other services. Through child-centered, trauma-informed, culturally and linguistically competent case management, these services ensure that each child has a safe and stable home placement where they can learn, grow and thrive. The services also provide parental support to new caregivers and facilitate integration with local communities.
- Child advocates push decision-makers to prioritize each child’s best interests, including their safety and well-being.
- Attorneys guide children through the immigration process, try to ensure a fair adjudication of their immigration cases, and can identify rights violations, such as exploitation and trafficking. With this support, children and families thrive.
- Investing in the capacity of local social-services agencies, schools, medical and mental health providers, and ORR to improve the continuity of services for unaccompanied children in local communities.
- Communities and states must set up and adequately resource robust practices for supporting children as they are reunified with sponsors and to provide ongoing support if needed.
- Schools should be adequately resourced to support immigrant children’s health and well-being.
- Fully restoring asylum protections, including for immigrant families and children.
- I urge Congress to hold the administration accountable for not further restricting asylum following the end of Title 42. Policies restricting asylum have resulted in family separation such that children are separated from adults they know and love, increasing the risk of exploitation. When the U.S. government prevents people from seeking safety through our asylum process, we put kids in more danger because their family and trusted caregivers cannot access protection with them. Expedited processing, any form of an asylum ban, and digital barriers designed to disqualify families from seeking protection under U.S. and international law cause further harm to children.
- I urge Congress and the administration to restore asylum protections and invest in the capacity to humanely welcome and process asylum seekers – including asylum-seeking families, unaccompanied children, and immigrants – in a way that lifts up their inherent dignity.
My community welcomes and supports unaccompanied children and all asylum seekers with compassion and dignity, and I urge you to do the same. Thank you!”
Amplify on Social Media: Share this message with your Senators & Representatives on social media. Below are some sample posts and graphics:
- [@legislator] I’m calling on you to ensure that every unaccompanied child has access to critical post-release services, home studies, child advocates, and legal representation that ensure not only children’s protection, but also their ability to thrive.
- [@legislator] I’m calling on you to protect unaccompanied children, and all children, by strengthening and enforcing child labor law. Please ensure unaccompanied children and their caregivers receive the support they need so children have a safe and stable home and community.
- #Congress must ensure unaccompanied children and their families have access to child-appropriate, trauma-informed, and culturally and linguistically competent care and services that help them thrive in their homes and communities and that help ensure children’s protection.
- Unaccompanied children and their families deserve protection and support. When the US prevents people from seeking asylum, we put kids in more danger b/c their family and caregivers can’t access protection. #Congress must invest in our capacity to humanely welcome asylum seekers.
- My community welcomed unaccompanied children and ALL people seeking asylum with compassion and dignity! The US must fully restore asylum protections so that children and families can live in safety. #Congress must support unaccompanied children and families so they can thrive.
- Unaccompanied children deserve protection & support. #Congress it’s past time to:
☑️ Strengthen and enforce child labor law
☑️ Fund post-release services, home studies, child advocates, legal representation, and local services for unaccompanied children
☑️ Restore asylum protections
CWS Policy and Messaging Resources:
- Statement to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement pertaining to its hearing entitled “The Biden Border Crisis: Exploitation of Unaccompanied Alien Children”
- CWS Calls for Change, Increased Protections for Unaccompanied Children Following NYT Report
- Kids in Need of Defense: Five Recommendations for Protecting Unaccompanied Children from Labor Exploitation
- Kids in Need of Defense: Legal Representation: A Vital Safeguard to Protect Unaccompanied Children from Labor Exploitation
- Women’s Refugee Commission: How to Talk About Child Labor Exploitation for Unaccompanied Children in the US
- Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights: Recommendations for Keeping Immigrant Youth Safe
- Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights: Fast, Not Fair: How Expedited Processes Harm Immigrant Children Seeking Protection
- Child Labor Coalition: Children Working in Terrifying Conditions in US Agriculture — New Research Shows Child Farmworkers Unprepared for Workplace Dangers
Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your networks!