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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator

HELP SHIFT THE MEDIA DEBATE ON THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS AT THE BORDER!

Here's the message we sent to our members. After you've read it, please add your voice.

We can shift the media's story about migrant children and the humanitarian crisis on the border. Will you write a letter to the editor today?GEO Group Banner

Click here to write a letter to the editor:

Dear Friend,

The news media are utterly failing in their responsibility to tell the heartbreaking truth of what's happening at the border: record numbers of families and children traveling thousands of miles alone to escape blinding poverty and rampant violence in their home countries.

Too much mainstream reporting echos right-wing talking points depicting this as a problem that must be solved through our broken immigration system — when the reality is that it's an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that must be addressed through humanitarian means.

It gets worse by using militaristic language to report the crisis — for instance, describing the migration as a "surge" and the children — children — as detainees, as though they belong in Guantanamo Bay instead of in their families' loving arms.1

With reporting like this, it's no wonder the children are being warehoused like dogs in a kennel instead of treated with dignity and respect.

It's up to Presente members to tell the real story, so we’re launching a campaign to flood our local and regional newspapers with letters to the editor. With you and more than 14,000 others who signed on to our original petition, we can play an important role in shifting the media narrative and changing how these refugees are being treated.

Will you write a letter to the editor demanding humanitarian — not militaristic solutions?

We're at a crossroads that will determine how we treat these children. Either the voices demanding that we "send them back" will prevail or Presente members calling for a humanitarian solution to the crisis will win in the court of public opinion. Getting our message out there is the first step toward influencing the media and shifting the debate from increased deportations to protection and asylum. 

Writing a letter to the editor is simple. We’ll provide you with everything you'll need to draft a strong and impactful letter, like talking points, and sample language.

Our message that it's immoral to further dehumanize families and children who are victims of violence and poverty needs to break through to the media. The dystopian living conditions that many migrant families face in their Central American countries are conditions that U.S. foreign and economic policy helped to create. We need to tell the heartbreaking stories of families and people like Belkis Rivera, who feared for her life and fled Honduras to reunite with her mother and brothers in the U.S. after gang members killed her grandmother.2,3

Will you write a letter to the editor demanding humanitarian — not militaristic — solutions for children on the border?

We need to act quickly while our leaders in Washington are still trying to figure out how to deal with the crisis. Send a letter today to the editors of local, regional, and national newspapers demanding humanitarian, not militaristic, solutions.

Click here to send a letter to the editor now.

Thanks and ¡adelante!

Mariana, Refugio, Arturo, Erick, Erica, Luis, and the rest of the Presente.org team

P.S. Can you donate $5 to support our work? We rely on contributions from people like you to see campaigns like this through.

Sources:

1. When is a little kid a 'detainee'? When he's an immigrant, and the A.P. says so, The Guardian, June 20 2014

2. Part II: Gangs, Deportation, and Violence in Central America, In Sight Crime, November 26, 2012

3. SoCal lawmakers want legal counsel for for unaccompanied minors, Southern California Public Radio, June 23, 2014