This week, I have traveled to the U.S. Southern border with Amnesty leaders from around the world, to expose the human rights abuses occurring at the border right now.
I accompanied three children as they attempted to seek asylum in the United States this week. As a mother myself, I cannot imagine being separated from my children. And I cannot believe that the longest government shut down in the history of our country happened so these human rights abuses can continue.
The U.S. government has manufactured this crisis, defying international law while heartlessly putting families and individuals in harm’s way. Now we have only 3 weeks to make sure that Congress doesn’t vote to give President Trump billions more for his border policies.
I stand with the children I met as well as all people who arrive at our borders seeking asylum: take action now if you agree.
At the border, authorities would not initially allow the children, who are a part of the LGBTQI community, to enter. We settled in for a bit of a wait — because we were committed to making sure the children were safe. We waited as Customs and Border Protection officers figured out what the next steps would be.
After an hour of deliberations with an officer on site, the three children were finally allowed to enter the U.S. to present their asylum claims accompanied by myself and a colleague from Amnesty International Mexico.
While we were successful in helping these children in submitting their asylum claim, it shouldn’t take our intervention to ensure their human rights are respected. I am left worried about the countless others who don’t have us accompanying them and advocating for them.
Our government appears to be more divided than ever before. Right now, Congress is debating whether or not to fund President Trump’s militarization of our border and drastically increase detention bed space. We can’t let this happen.
Tell your Member of Congress that refugees and asylum seekers deserve safety -not walls and bars.
Margaret Huang is Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.