UPDATE - 6/22:
This fandom is incredible! With the help of a $2,500 gift from Marie Avgeropoulos and a $1,000 gift from Lola Flanery, we have TRIPLED our original target and just hit $7,500! Let's try for $10,000 by Tuesday's episode, shall we?
Like so many of you, both inside and outside the United States, both of us have been gutted by the stories emerging of immigrant and refugee children, including infants and toddlers, separated from their parents by ICE at the US/Mexico border who have become lost in a hostile system, with no support or resources.
President Trump’s recent executive order may have sounded, on the surface, like a remedy for this crisis, but it isn’t. It theoretically halts the practice of family separation, but in the worst way possible - by incarcerating families together, indefinitely.
It also, crucially, does nothing to support the thousands of children who have already been separated from their parents and sent to detention centers. Nonprofit organizations are desperately attempting to track down these children, who are already being flown all over the United States to ICE facilities, in order to reunite them with their parents. Many of these families came to the United States to seek asylum, fleeing terrible conditions in their own country. This is not illegal, yet parents are being jailed and their children ripped away simply because they crossed a border.
These stories are heartbreaking, and they make so many of us feel powerless. But there are ways to help.
On June 30th, all across the United States as well as internationally, many cities are holding “Families Belong Together” marches to keep pressure on President Trump and Congress to seek real, immediate solutions to reunite refugee children with their parents and abolish, or at least reform, ICE and our other immigration agencies, which unfairly penalize immigrants of color even when they haven’t broken a single law. Click here to see if there’s a march taking place near you.
Another crucial way to help these families is to support the nonprofit organizations already at work on the ground. RAICES Texas (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) funds legal representation for unaccompanied immigrant/refugee children, but the Trump administration recently eliminated their funding. Without a legal representative, kids get lost in the system, and by ripping children as young as six or eight months away from their parents, the number of children now classed as “unaccompanied” has exponentially increased.
RAICES also funds immigration bonds. Parents separated from their children at the border (and other immigrants placed in detention) can't get released from ICE custody to reunite with their families until they pay a bond set at a minimum of $1,500, usually closer to $10,000. That’s even if you are a legal asylum seeker with no criminal history.
Ten thousand dollars, to see your baby again, even if you’ve committed no crime. That’s not due process. That’s a ransom.
The 100 is a show about many things, but one of them is borders. What happens to our collective humanity when we begin to draw arbitrary lines about who belongs where, about who is a “them” and who is an “us”? What happens to our souls when we decide that the pain and suffering of children matters less than the enforcement of laws we made to keep the “right” people in and the “wrong” people out?
Those are bigger social problems than one television show or one podcast can solve and they’re bigger than just this moment in our history and they’re bigger than just America and broken, racist immigration systems. But there are pieces of this crisis with practical, real solutions, and one of those is to help pay off immigration bonds so these families can be together again. It’s not everything, but it’s a start.
We are so grateful for our Meta Station listeners and our fandom community and we’ve seen and heard so many of you on social media sharing your feelings of distress and powerlessness about what’s happening to these kids. We love your passion and we love your big hearts and we love how much you care about building a better world.
So let's do something. Together.
Help us raise $2,500 for RAICES Texas by August 7th (The 100's season finale) so we can help support their legal aid fund. If we hit our goal, we'll be asking Jason Rothenberg and the cast & crew of the show to consider matching the donation, to increase our impact and help more kids.
Thank you all for being amazing. We love you all.
--Claire & Erin