Heartland Alliance was founded over 130 years ago to provide support and uphold the dignity of immigrants and refugees. We have long supported policies that promote welcoming communities, and advance the fair treatment of and opportunities for immigrants and their families. And we know that immigrants and refugees make our city and country stronger economically, safer, and more robust socially and culturally. Despite our efforts, these past several months have been extremely difficult for the participants we serve.
The current Administration has actively worked to undermine the rights and humane treatment of those who are most vulnerable and, in particular, to stoke fear and confusion in immigrant communities. We strongly oppose these actions that harm individuals seeking safety in the U.S. and that erode long-standing protections for immigrants and asylum seekers.
We are seeing a loss of lawful status; enforcement strategies that terrorize communities and make U.S. borders hostile to asylum seekers; the erosion of the U.S. refugee resettlement programs; and an increased focus on detention and deportation. ALL of these actions strike at our core values and tangibly cause harm to the people we serve, our neighbors, and our communities.
And we are still picking up the pieces of the Administration’s abhorrent zero tolerance policy, which led to the forced separation of thousands of children from their parents. As of today, Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS) is providing shelter to four of the ninety-nine children who had been in our care as a result of the zero tolerance policy. We continue to do all that we can to reunite all of the children in our shelters with their families, as we strongly believe families belong together.
We recognize that there is misinformation and confusion about HHCS’s shelter program for unaccompanied minors. Some believe we should not provide shelter for unaccompanied minors who have entered this country alone, and that we should shut down our shelters altogether. But how can we turn our backs on children who arrive at our borders alone and afraid, and in search of safety and a better life here in the U.S? We believe that doing so would serve only to further undermine the immigration system in this country for the very people we were founded to serve. And that in the absence of our doing this work, we would see an increase in the inhumane detention of children and families we so vehemently oppose.
Heartland Alliance is tackling these issues head-on through policy advocacy, legal and support services, and public education efforts. And we invite you to join us and hundreds of other organizations across the U.S. to fight against this erosion of rights and to promote the dignity of all people.
- Become educated about the proposed changes to the “public charge rule” and make your voice heard.
- Join the Stop Family Detention
- Invite others to learn more about the journey of unaccompanied minors and Heartland Human Care Services work with unaccompanied children.
- Shape the conversation and mobilize support for this important issue on Facebook and Twitter.