Families Belong Together

Virginians are using their voice to reject hate and support fellow humans in their plight for better lives. Securing US borders cannot exclude human decency and respect. It cannot be about fear, intimidation, and rejection of human rights. US citizens demand better and hopeful immigrants deserve better.

On June 24, 2018 Representative Brat’s constituents came out en mass to protest his positions on border security and immigration. According to Richmond2Day, the only way his constituents feel like they can reach him is through protest.

  

Rep. Brat has spent the last week arguing about the number of attendees (less than 200 versus more than 200), but the point remains that his constituents are demanding attention to this human rights issue and his ideological, xenophobic rhetoric doesn’t fly in his now purple district. 183 people, most present at the protest, signed a petition calling for Brat to lead a BIPARTISAN solution to immigration, including a pathway to citizenship for DACA protected persons and DREAMERS. NBC 12 provided limited video of the event.

Representative Brat has routinely discounted family separation at the US-Mexico border–even calling it “fake news.” Yet, on June 22, 2018 he introduced companion legislation to Sen. Ted Cruz’s Protect Kids and Parents Act to protect the children of illegal immigrants from being separated from their families unless there is imminent danger. According to ThinkProgress, Cruz’s bill is a “sham” because doubling the number of immigration judges and creating family housing centers cannot happen quickly and 14 days is not long enough to process asylum claims. Effectively, the bill provides funding to double the number of immigration judges (but not attorneys) to rush cases and deport asylum seekers. The bill also grants multiple provisions for removing children from their families and does not allow provisions for children over the age of 18 to stay with their parents.

On June 30, 2018 in Washington, D.C., an estimated 35,000 people from across the United States protested family separation, indefinite detention, and the general lack of respect and consideration for fellow humans. MoveOn.org captured live stream of protests in D.C. Watch HERE. Meanwhile, the congregation at First Christian Church in Lynchburg stood roadside in their town rejecting the US response at the border as well.

On July 1, 2018 people from across Virginia are joining together at an ICE detention facility in Farmville, VA to protest indefinite confinement of immigrants and asylum seekers. DETAILS HERE

Senator Feinstein had already introduced legislation to protect children and their families from separation but it received no GOP support. Her legislation was strictly about keeping families together without provisions to expedite the asylum process and deportation. According to Vox Senator McConnell is not likely to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote despite at least 1 Republican showing early support.