It’s good to know that the US Post Office offered postmarks from the North Pole again this year! But not all kids are waiting for replies from the North Pole — some were waiting for replies from Washington, DC.
According to the Applied Research Center’s report “Shattered Families,” more than 5,000 minors born to immigrants are living in foster care because their parents have been deported from the US. The Center estimates that under current government policy, another 15,000 minors will be placed in foster care within the next five years.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance and 30+ partner organizations coordinated the “We Belong Together” campaign. The coalition collected more than 5,000 “Dear President Obama” and “Dear Congress” letters from young people directly effected by the deportations, as well as young people who have learned about the issue and want to keep immigrant families together here in the US. The campaign launched November 15th and wrapped up on December 8th.
On December 8th, a delegation of young people and supporters hand-delivered the 5,000+ letters to more than 50 congressional offices on Capitol Hill and spoke with staff about the impact of immigration policies on kids. The next day, another delegation representing “We Belong Together” attended the National Immigration Law Center’s luncheon plenary “A Dialogue with Key Policymakers,” held on Capitol Hill. Monica Ramirez, Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice was in attendance at the event. She promised to deliver the letters to the White House.
This holiday season I am thankful for all youth who continue to have hope, organize and have the courage to speak out about the issues that are important to them.
Photo of Santa Claus - LadyDragonflyCC on flickr