On Sunday, in driving rain, I stood on a ladder in Homestead, Fla., and could see children being caged for profit.
It was Father’s Day, but the kids I glimpsed across the street on the other side of a chain-link fence covered by tarps weren’t celebrating. Having fled violence and poverty in Central America, they are now being imprisoned in a private, for-profit “emergency influx” facility that enables our government to circumvent regulations limiting how long children can be detained. Please help us free them now.
I was in Homestead to participate in an interfaith service with a coalition of local, immigrant-led organizations, local clergy, and members of several area synagogues.
Even in the pouring rain, a sea of protesters showed up, including many T’ruah rabbis and cantors, calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to shut down Homestead Detention Center and release the children to their family members. Today, you can help make that happen.
Click here to email your member of Congress and ask them to support legislation that will:
Children do not belong in cages or prisons, but in schools and with their families. The American Academy of Pediatrics says even short periods of time in detention can cause psychological trauma and pose long-term mental health risks.
Huddling under umbrellas outside the detention center this weekend, I and other protesters sang the English words to Olam Chesed Yibaneh: "We will build this world with love.” With 11 rabbis and cantors, I read Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld’s prayer for immigrant children and families. (You can watch the video of the event, which was live-streamed, on our Facebook page and find the prayer on our website.)
Please join us in providing the moral rabbinic voice necessary to help build such a world. Please email your members of Congress and consider making a donation to support this important work.
Thank you for your partnership,
Rabbi Salem Pearce
T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights