Demand that Congress REJECT rollbacks to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act
Proposals to “deport children more quickly” would return unaccompanied children to exploitation, trafficking and unsafe situations.
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 changes to the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008. The TVPRA passed both chambers of Congress by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President G. W. Bush to address our international obligations of not returning bulnerable migrants to danger and to reduce the likelihood that the U.S. would deport children back into the hands of traffickers and others who would exploit them.
Changes to the TVPRA would mean that children would not have a meaningful opportunity to have their story heard, apply for asylum, or be cared for humanely by child welfare personnel, and would be deported to potentially life-threatening situations. Congress should not rescind this bipartisan law at precisely the time when more children are in need of these protections. The U.S. must show leadership by finding ways to reduce the violence these children face in their home countries, rather than immoral proposals to deport them more quickly. More than 4,000 people of faith have already urged Congress and the Obama Administration to uphold these protections in a letter delivered to Congress and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. For more information, click here.
Call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with the offices of your Representatives and Senators. You can also visit bit.ly/TheyAreChildren to call directly.
Here’s a sample script: “I’m from state/congregation/community and as a person of faith, 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. As your constituent, 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.”
…from your Minnesota Conference Immigration Team