For most of us the holidays are a time of celebration with family and friends, a time of joy and hope. Yet, for millions of refugees and migrants looking for safety, the joy of the Christmas season is distant.
Since 2014, we have seen an increase in the numbers of families and unaccompanied children fleeing extreme violence in Central America. These refugees make the harrowing journey to the U.S. hoping for asylum and safety at last.
Instead of open arms, many are greeted with shackles. Thousands of children and mothers spend their days locked up in detention facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania. Children who have reached our borders alone are housed in government shelters for an average of 30-45 days until they can be placed with a relative or loving foster family.
This Christmas season, please join us in making a difference in the lives of these children and mothers. Here are two ways you can get involved:
Participate in our Christmas Card Campaign and Gift Drive
Share joy and hope by writing and decorating Christmas cards in English and Spanish. Purchase a gift through our online registry. Gifts and cards will be mailed directly to our dedicated partners on the ground and delivered to children isolated in detention and to those children who crossed the border alone. Mail cards to LIRS and purchase gifts by December 12, 2016 for Christmas delivery.
- Sign the Petition to End Family Detention
Delivering Christmas cards and gifts is an important expression of welcome. However, detention is no place for families and children. Help LIRS end family detention. Download and sign LIRS’ End Family Detention petition. Mail signed petitions to LIRS by December 12, 2016. We will deliver the petitions to our representatives in Washington, DC.
This holiday season, join us in our efforts to end the isolation of mothers and children in detention centers, to bring hope to children who arrive in the U.S. alone, and to challenge anti-immigrant views by offering welcome to refugees and migrants.