The ROCLA Steering Committee is sending this urgent Action Alert (http://action.interfaithimmigration.org/protect-kids/) to you to ask that you call your Senators and Congressional Representative urging them to prevent ANY changes to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (See below: What To tell your members of Congress). Please call President Obama (202-456-1111), Sen. Schumer (585-263-5866 or 202-224-6542), and Sen. Gillibrand (585-263-6250 or 202-224-4451). You may use the link above to obtain the phone numbers of your Senators and Congressional Representative.
We are also attaching a New York Times article attached below for additional information. Here is the link: http://nyti.ms/1yHQhie
Demand that Congress Reject Rollbacks to Child Protection Law
As the U.S. government responds to the humanitarian crisis faced by unaccompanied children and families fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, both President Obama and some members of Congress are proposing to weaken important legal protections for vulnerable children with the so-called HUMANE Act (S.2611)
This is wrong.
This important law, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), passed both chambers of Congress by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President Bush in 2008 to prevent the deportation of children back into the hands of traffickers and others who would exploit them.
We cannot allow thousands of children to be put at greater risk. If changes to this law are pushed through Congress, children will not have a meaningful opportunity to have their story heard, apply for asylum, or be cared for by child welfare personnel — and would be deported to potentially life-threatening situations.
Calls to your Senators and Representative are urgently needed. Tell them that Congress should not rescind this bipartisan law at precisely the time when more children are in need of these life-saving protections.
This heartbreaking story, shared by a partner of a Jesuit social center in Honduras is one of many that shows why these children need access to protection:
After “Leticia” was raped by over a dozen gang members, she and her family reported the crime to the police. They immediately began to receive death threats. In the absence of any protection, and likely complicity by police in the gang’s terror campaign, the local partner attempted to relocate Leticia to a women’s shelter. The shelter refused to take the case because of fear that they would not be able to protect either Leticia or their other beneficiaries from the gang. In the end to protect Leticia from further harm, she had to be sent to another country
Here’s what to tell your members of Congress:
- As your constituent in [CITY/STATE], I strongly oppose any rollbacks to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
- Unaccompanied children fleeing violence should not be returned to unsafe situations, but must be protected and cared for humanely.
- I expect you to stand firm against any proposal that would sacrifice a child’s safety for expediency.
- The U.S. must instead find ways to reduce the violence these children face in their home countries and ensure that children who arrive to the U.S. have access to the legal counsel and services they need.