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Emergency Action for Migrant Mothers

From Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director

We have entered a horrific chapter in the Trump disaster. US border agents are forcibly taking children from their parents, separating them for months on end with only the faintest hope of ever reuniting.

There are no words to make sense of this nightmare. What must a mother feel when her nursing baby is taken from her? When she’s forced to get on a plane and leave her 8-year-old son behind, alone in a strange country? As a mother, I can’t imagine that heartbreak.

MADRE stands with mothers and families against abuse and racist attacks. We reject this disgusting and morally bankrupt “zero tolerance” policy. Through our No Borders on Gender Justice Campaign, we’re shining a light on abuses by the Trump administration and other right-wing forces, and mobilizing resources and action to protect people in danger.

Here’s what we’re doing to confront these shameful policies and to stand with migrants:

Supporting safety and legal protections for women and families as they migrate

Through our grassroots networks and a new partnership with Semillas, the only Mexican women’s fund, we’re helping to ensure that people making the dangerous trek from Central America to the US have shelter, information about their rights, and referrals to service providers on both sides of the border.

Securing documentation and legal assistance for deported mothers

Dreamers’ Moms is a group of women who were forcibly separated from their children and deported from the US to Mexico. We’re supporting efforts to reunite these families, provide trauma counseling and advocate for an end to unjust immigration policies.

Life After Deportation: Three Mothers' Stories

Learn more about Dreamers' Moms and how they mobilize to support deported mothers and reunite families.

Helping mothers search for their missing children

The Caravan of the Mothers of Missing Migrants is a group of Central American mothers searching for their missing children, who disappeared along the route to the US. We’re helping to strengthen their efforts to reunite families divided by abusive border policies across the region, by funding a gathering where these mothers can exchange experiences and strategize together.

Advocating for migrants at home and internationally

We’ve sponsored workshops with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona to bring skills and strategies to lawyers and rights advocates to secure asylum claims. And we’re launching a new joint advocacy campaign to bring an international legal petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights holding the US accountable for abuses of migrants in detention, including family separation.

"We have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of children separated from  their parents—even children as young as one year old. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve documented nearly 350 cases of family separation, double the number from last year. The administration has been upfront about this destructive policy, saying that this will deter families from migrating. However, the immigrant families we serve are fleeing extreme violence and for many, return is a death sentence. Often times parents and children, when separated, are not aware of where each other are for days. When our staff meets with them, the children are inconsolable and cry at the very mention of their parents.  In some cases, we have seen children regress emotionally and become non-verbal due to the trauma our government has inflicted on them." 

When we heard this from our partners at the Florence Project in Arizona, we knew we had to act. We're helping to bring trauma counseling to these children, along with our support for vital legal services.

More from our No Borders on Gender Justice Campaign

As activists, we need to create and strengthen ways for us to work together in the face of this crisis. That’s why MADRE co-organized a special convening to connect US and global social justice activists. Together, we shared the threats we face, put our heads together to devise more effective ways to resist, and asserted our shared principles to build a truly secure and just world.

It’s hard to keep up with the cacophony of bigoted expletives and outrages emanating from the White House. So you may have missed the Administration’s latest desperate attempt to justify its xenophobic and racist immigration policies, this time by pretending to care about women’s rights. 

Help women experiencing disasters - Yifat Susskind

Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director, appeared on 112BK with Ashley Ford to address global women's rights, the rise of the right and how progressive activists can learn from each other to build stronger movements.