Protect Children Vulnerable to Violence and Human Trafficking

Action 1: Rally with Seattle Indivisible and the Sierra Club!

Seattle Indivisible and the Sierra Club’s Washington State Chapter is hosting an event.  Come rally for climate leadership and resist Trump!  Join us today at the Seattle Federal Building at 915 2nd Avenue from 11:45-12:30.  Following the rally, we have a meeting scheduled with Senator Murray's and Senator Cantwell’s staff to ask them to continue to be bold in resisting the Trump agenda!

More Event information here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/439323156441708/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%223%22%2C%22ref_newsfeed_story_type%22%3A%22regular%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D

Action 2: Protect Children Vulnerable to Violence and Human Trafficking

Representative John Carter from Texas has introduced “unsettlingly ironic” bill called the “Protection of Children Act of 2017,” also known as HR 495.  From THE HILL: “Children fleeing violence, suffering from recent abuse and exploitation, deserve compassionate care and support. They deserve time to eat, rest and feel safe before they are asked to retell their entire history of abuse and trauma. Instead, the PCA offers them a cold chair in a crowded room, interrogation by heavily armed Border Patrol Officers, and a few minutes to give a compelling legal argument.”

HR 495 will do the following:

  • Move responsibility for initial asylum screening from trained asylum officers to CBP agents - who may have inadequate training dealing with children. This would increase the likelihood that victims of trafficking and other violence would be overlooked.
  • Remove the Department of Health and Human Services ability to provide legal representation to children paid for by the government.  
  • Permit the DHS to hold a child for 30 days before transferring the child to Health and Human Services custody.
  • Require the immigration status of a child’s sponsor, a change that would make family members have to choose between protecting the child and being deported themselves.

Embolden our representatives to speak out in the strongest terms against this inhumane and un-American bill.  

Script:

My name is [NAME] calling from [CITY, ZIP].  I’m calling to ask Representative [NAME] to speak out very strongly against HR 495, the so-called “Protection of Children Act of 2017.” I believe that this bill is inhumane and un-American.  Thank you for taking my call.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal:

DC - 202-225-3106

Seattle - 206-674-0040

Rep. Adam Smith:

DC - 202-225-8901

Renton - 425-793-5180

Background:

Also from THE HILL: 

“Reports by UNHCR, UNICEF and others have documented the gang and family violence that is driving children and families from Central America’s ‘Northern Triangle’ to seek safety in the United States.

“Honduras and El Salvador continue to have the world’s highest murder rates. Women and girls in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras endure disturbingly high rates of domestic and sexual violence. Gangs use sexual violence as a strategy to instill fear and control girls, and female homicide rates in these countries are among the highest in the world.

“Once they leave their homes, children face harrowing journeys. Many experience sexual violence, and all are at risk of falling into the hands of traffickers.

“It’s unconscionable, and in direct contrast to U.S. values, that federal policy would prioritize expedition of unaccompanied children’s return to these horrendous conditions. And yet, that is exactly what the Protection of Children Act (PCA) would do; it is designed to fail these children and place them at even greater risk of harm.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/339203-protection-of-children-act-or-protection-of-traffickers-act

http://immigrationforum.org/blog/protection-of-children-act-of-2017-bill-summary/

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/495