April Advocacy Letter
April’s advocacy letter to our elected leaders focuses on COVID-19 and the Remain in Mexico Policy, particularly the effects of holding immigrants at border encampments and overcrowded shelters as they wait for their court dates at risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Two sample draft letters are included below.
- Please send your letter to our US Senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, and your Congress Member.
- Due to the time-sensitive nature of the Coronavirus affecting conditions along the border, please mail your letters as soon as possible.
Thank you for advocating on behalf of asylum seekers and vulnerable immigrants.
Additional opportunities to advocate for asylum seekers and vulnerable immigrants are listed below. Together we can- and do- make a difference.
For context and additional background, check out the following articles:
- CNN- Q&A: What COVID-19 Means for Immigration
- The Washington Post- Under coronavirus immigration measures, U.S. is expelling border-crossers to Mexico in an average of 96 minutes
- The Intercept- Amid coronavirus pandemic, ICE has life or death power to release detainees
Draft Letter Option 1:
April X, 2020
The coronavirus respects no borders, nor race, nor age, nor economic status. It spreads through close proximity to others. As a developed nation, the US must control the coronavirus. We must have testing and sufficient medical care for those who are ill, and who live in the U.S
I urge you to take immediate action for the most vulnerable in our hemisphere.
- Reinstate the internationally agreed Asylum System which has been a hallmark of US character, principles and human rights we cherish as Americans.
- End the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
- Release the 37,000 immigrants currently locked up in ICE detention, many of whom have risk factors for the coronavirus which will place their lives and the lives of others in danger.
- End deportations. Deportations by bus and air to countries in this hemisphere will only lead to further contamination in countries that have inadequate health care systems.
Please inform us of your plans if you do not address our requests.
Draft Letter Option 2:
I am your constituent and I am writing because of my concern for the men, women and children seeking asylum, but being kept in the Mexican cities along our southern border in very primitive, dangerous and crowded conditions. This is due to our government’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. The situation there has been dangerous since the inception of this policy, but in the last 2-3 weeks as the COVID-19 virus has invaded the cities on the US side of the border, I as a US Citizen can no longer tolerate my brothers and sisters being exposed to this potentially deadly virus.
I am writing to ask you to do two things:
- Send into these makeshift camps immediately health and social service workers to assess the needs of the people in these make shift encampments and distribute to them needed supplies for their health and safety, especially items needed to keep the COVID-19 virus at bay.
- End the “Remain in Mexico” policy (MPP) and reinstate the internationally recognized lawful asylum process that prior to this administration was used by our immigration service and justice department. This means asylum seekers will have real access to legal counsel and an individual hearing before a judge – no more 40-50 people hauled into a court room with no chance to explain the situation that led them to flee their native country. Release all asylum seekers, who pass a Credible Fear Interview, to their sponsor, be they in Border Camps or Detention Centers.
I have lived in Texas for over 40 years and whether my elected Senators, Congressional Representatives, or Governors were from my political party or not, I could count on them in a crisis to do the morally right thing. We are in a CRISIS with the spread of this virus. You as a man of faith and moral values have an opportunity to avert a catastrophe. If our government continues to ignore the crowded conditions in these border camps, Processing Centers and Detention Centers, the COVID-19 virus will spread like wild fire …it will make New York City look like nothing in comparison…Border Patrol agents, ICE officials and their families will all be caught up in this pandemic. Take action quickly to close and vacate these potential incubators (border encampments, Detention and Processing Centers) for the COVID-19 virus and rescind the Remain in Mexico Policy.
Contact information for your Texas legislators:
Texas U.S. Senators:
Senator John Cornyn
600 Navarro, Ste 210, San Antonio, Tx 78205
517 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
San Antonio Office: (210) 224-7584
Other Offices: (202) 224-2934, (877) 345-4024, (972) 239-1310
Senator Ted Cruz
9901 IH 10-West, Ste 950, San Antonio, Tx 78230
404 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
San Antonio Office: (210) 340-2885
Other Offices: (202) 224-5922, (877) 398-0043, (214) 599-8749
Facebook: Senator Ted Cruz
Find Your Representative:
Congressman Chip Roy
1319 Longworth HOB Washington, DC 20515
125 Lehmann Dr., Ste 201, Kerrville, 78028, (830) 896-0154
1100 NE Loop 410 Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209
5900 Southwest Parkway, Bldg 2 Suite 201a Austin, TX 78735
Additional Advocacy Opportunities:
Join with fellow advocates in signing these petitions, organized and sponsored by our partners:
- Sign Action Network’s petitions to:
- Take action with RAICES #FreethemALL campaign. Sign RAICES petitions to:
- Demand DHS Make eBond Available for Immigrant Families.
- Tell ICE: Release All Immigrants at Risk of Coronavirus.
- Call ICE at 210-283-4711 & demand they #FreeThemAll by saying the following: “Hi, my name is _____ and I am calling from (zip code) to demand all immigrant detainees are released from detention at Karnes and Pearsall due to the imminent threat of COVID-19. If you don’t, we are all at risk.”
- Sign the Texas Civil Rights Project’s petition, No border wall construction during a pandemic to tell the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and Department of Justice to halt all border wall construction during the COVID-19 pandemic.