Dear [Decision Maker],
On Saturday March 2, Al Otro Lado, Families Belong Together, Together Rising, Matthew 25 SoCal and Sojourners accompanied 29 families to the Calexico-Mexicali port of entry. These families were at serious risk of violence and had been separated from their children by the U.S. government. Staying in Mexico was not an option for them: They were in danger of becoming targets of human trafficking, organized crime, and extortion. Al Otro Lado presented families seeking their legal right to asylum and urged Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to let the families onto U.S. soil as soon as possible. Al Otro Lado did this with a group of lawyers, advocates, and faith leaders mobilized by Sojourners.The current administration has implemented a series of unlawful policies meant to prevent asylum seekers from seeking protection at our southern border. In violation of the law, CBP officers regularly turn away asylum seekers who present themselves at Ports of Entry. They cite vague "capacity" issues that they claim prevent them from processing the asylum seekers in a timely fashion. Asylum applicants are often forced to wait in Mexico for weeks or months, in cities that are among the most violent in the world.After much negotiation with CBP officials, the families were finally processed. Right now, 17 of them are in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): They have been detained for more than a month. All 17 families have secured a sponsor in the U.S. and passed their credible fear interviews.Although the Department of Homeland Security has said that it is now their priority to reunite these families, they are preventing these parents from being with their children.I ask that you do whatever is in your power to urge ICE to release these families to their sponsor and reunite them with their children.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]
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