As a follow-up to our post about how to help the refugee children running for their lives into California at the border, there is a next step we all must take:
Congress will soon take up a bill that, done well, preserves the right of these children to have their day in court concerning their status as refugees and threatened people. The bill is the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) that allows children from non-contiguous Central American countries who have been forced into sexual servitude to have court hearings before any action is taken. It was a bi-partisan measure originally signed by President Bush in 2008
Done poorly, the TVPRA provisions will end, and will hasten deportations of young children back to hazardous, life-threatening conditions in their home countries. We must fight repeal of the TVPRA now!
We, as the heirs to the anti-slavery work of William Wilberforce, cannot allow these children to be deprived of a hearing and simply deported only to be forced to join drug gangs, forced into prostitution, or murdered. They face exactly the same peril as the children for whom the law was originally written.
Please call your two Senators and your Representative today to insist that Congress not rescind this law! You may call toll free at 1-888-427-0530 and ask for your Senators and Representative.
Through the good graces of the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church this phone line is available to everyone. Please take advantage of this opportunity! Every voice counts in the weight of public opinion.
If you are unsure who your elected officials are, please link here:
When you reach your elected official, please tell the office that you are a person of faith, that these children must be protected, and that you strongly oppose repeal of the TPVRA!
If the toll-free line is busy or you prefer to write a longer email, the links will also take you to the home page of each Senator and Member of the House of Representatives. Be sure your ZIP is filled out, and your own representatives will pop up. You may also call their district offices; messages will be forwarded. However, we urge contacting the Capitol office in Washington, DC as the first priority.
This human rights crisis of children is a test of our moral fabric. We have the opportunity to lead the world in how good people of conscience treat the ‘alien among us’, especially children.
Please act now! The time is short, your voice is needed. Please stand for due process for the innocent victims of violence today!