here’s what to do if you really do care about the separation of migrant families

Hands up who liked it better when Melania was still missing.

by Roisin Lanigan
23 June 2018, 12:26am

Remember the good old days when Melania was still missing? When we could make jokes about how her disappearance meant she hated Donald Trump as much as the rest of the world did, or that she was appearing in the next season of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Well unfortunately those days are over, and she announced her comeback by visiting a migrant child detention centre in Texas wearing the world’s most tone deaf jacket.

Melania’s £30 Zara trench coat was emblazoned on the back with the words “I really don’t care, do u?” a statement that the President says was a dig at the “fake news media”. It’s not the first time Melania has been lambasted for her tone deaf fashion choices -- earlier this year she was criticised for arriving in Texas after Hurricane Harvey to lead relief efforts wearing a pair of Manolo Blahnik stilettos -- but this one certainly feels like the most heartless. If, unlike Melania, you do care about the fate of migrant families affected by Trump’s draconian immigration policies, there is fortunately plenty you can do.

While, after worldwide backlash, Trump has finally signed an executive order which will halt the separation of families at the border (depending on how the federal courts rule on it, as it comes with other stipulations), the fate of those already affected remains unclear. If you’re outside of the US it’s easy to feel frustrated, angry and powerless about that. You don’t have to be American to get involved though. If you can’t be there physically to voice your solidarity, then you can pledge it in the form of cold hard cash instead. Plenty of organisations based in America, including the Texas Civil Rights Project, the Young Centre for Immigrant Children’s Rights, the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Centre (which provides lawyers for immigrant and forcibly separated families), and RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Centre for Education and Legal Services, are all trying to help and they could use all the support they can get.

Aside from donating directly to charities like these, advocates say the easiest and most effective way to help immigrants in the US is to post their bail. When undocumented immigrants are detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, their bail can be set at a legal minimum of $1,500, all the way up to over $80,000, which migrant families are unable to raise. “In addition to the reduced financial and mental-health strain on the family, getting released on bond substantially increases the odds of winning relief on your immigration case, because you can meet freely and regularly with your attorney and have greater ability to prepare the documentation you need,” explains Trevor Houser, director of the Immigrant Family Defense Fund. You can help with bail funds by donating to National Bail Out, The American Bar Association, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project or Immigration Justice Campaign.

If you’re in the UK and unable to donate at all, there are plenty of ways you can still show your opposition to Trump’s treatment of migrant families. Donald Trump is set to visit the UK on Friday 13th (fitting) July. In London, a mass protest against his presence is due to gather outside the BBC building in Portland Square before marching towards a rally in Trafalgar Square. A Facebook event with details of the protest also mentions that, for those not in London, actions will be happening across the country as part of the “Carnival of Resistance”.

Even if you’re not in America, even if you don’t have money, you don’t have to stand aside and let it happen. If, unlike Melania, you do care, there are plenty of ways to show it.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

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