Families Belong Together, Not in Prisons

This week has been a rollercoaster: it began with the nomination of ultra-conservative baseball enthusiast Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and hopefully peaked on Thursday with Peter Strzok's epic 11 hour testimony in front of a House committee, Donald Trump threatening our closest allies, and Amy Siskind announcing that she'll be joining us in September for a fundraiser here in Seattle!

Despite the tidal wave of news that has inundated us this week, it is incredibly important for us all to remember all of the calamities of two weeks ago: namely the families that have been cruelly ripped apart by our government. Did you know that the Northwest Detention Center is run by a corporation? The GEO Group is one of the two largest private prison companies in the United States, and it has also made a sizable contribution to Senator Patty Murray's 2016 reelection campaign[1].

We want you to make three calls today:

1. Senator Murray, to her credit, has cosponsored a Senate companion bill called the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, which would bar private prisons from housing detained immigrants, but we think she can do better than that by donating the money to a worthwhile group. Let's call Senator Murray's office to thank her for cosponsoring this bill, but ask her to do the right thing and donate the money to a group like the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

2. Senator Cantwell has not yet cosponsored the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. Let's call Cantwell's office and urge her to do the right thing.

3. The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act was originally introduced in the House by Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Adam Smith. We should call our Representatives and thank them.

'Bonus' Action

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security triumphantly announced that they had reunited 57 of 103 of children under 5 years old, 55%, that were separated from their parents after crossing the southern border[2]. Of course, that means that 46 children haven't been reunited with their parents. If you were to grade DHS for their efforts, they'd receive 55%, a failing grade. On top of this, there are thirty times as many kids between the ages of 5-17 who are separated from their parents[3]. The nearly 3,000 older kids are supposed to be reunited with their parents by July 26, but it seems highly unlikely that this court-imposed deadline will be met given the Trump Administration's famous combination of incompetence and malice.

So, with each call you make, please ask our Members of Congress to keep speaking out for these families and demanding that the government lives up to its promises.

#1 Call Senator Murray

Sample Script

Hi, my name is {NAME}, and I'm calling from {CITY, ZIP}. I want to thank Senator Murray for cosponsoring the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. I'm glad that she is fighting on behalf of these separated families. However, I want her to do more than sponsor legislation. Senator Murray took $5,000 from a private prison company in 2016, and I want to see her donate that money to a worthy non-profit that is fighting for these families. {BONUS: Also, please ask the Senator to use every tool at her disposal to reunite immigrant kids that have been separated from their families. The Trump Administration must be held to account for its failure to reunite small children with their parents.}

Phone Number

Call Sen. Patty Murray: (202) 224-2621 or (206) 553-5545

#2 Call Senator Cantwell

Sample Script

Hi, my name is {NAME}, and I'm calling from {CITY, ZIP}. I am grateful for the support for detained immigrants that Senator Cantwell has offered, but I would like to see her do more by cosponsoring the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. Senator Murray is a cosponsor of the Senate bill and Representatives Jayapal and Smith introduced the legislation in the House. Can you tell me if the Senator is willing to announce her cosponsorship of this bill? {BONUS: Also, please ask the Senator to use every tool at her disposal to reunite immigrant kids that have been separated from their families. The Trump Administration must be held to account for its failure to reunite small children with their parents.}

Phone Number

Call Sen. Maria Cantwell: (202) 224-3441 or (206) 220-6400

#3 Call your Representative

Sample Script

Hi, my name is {NAME}, and I'm calling from {CITY, ZIP}. I want to thank Representative {NAME} for introducing the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act in the House. I'm disappointed that it hasn't made it out of subcommittee, but I know that means we need to elect strong, progressive majorities in November. {BONUS: Also, please ask the Representative to use every tool at their disposal to reunite immigrant kids that have been separated from their families. The Trump Administration must be held to account for its failure to reunite small children with their parents.}

Phone Number

Call Rep. Pramila Jayapal: (202) 225-3106, (206) 674-0040

or

Call Rep. Adam Smith: (202) 225-8901, (425) 793-5180

More Info

(Also, thank you to Josh for the suggestion of today's action.)

Events

Seattle Indivisible is proud to welcome activist and writer Amy Siskind to Seattle on September 27. Proceeds from this event will be split 50/50 between the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Seattle Indivisible's ongoing voter registration and turnout promotion efforts.

Copies of Amy's book, The List, will be available for purchase at the event thanks to Elliott Bay Books.

Tickets are available for $10-$14 from Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-amy-siskind-tickets-47932385054