There are 13,100 children imprisoned right now in federal custody — alone, without their families — facing horrifying neglect and abuse.
These kids need and deserve a defender and protector. Today, we will give them a defender who will step in front of the abuse they are facing. A protector who will ensure that the abuse ends. An advocate who will make sure those responsible for these atrocities are held accountable for their horrors.
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Holly Cooper, Co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic at UC Davis, and her team have been to more than 30 detention centers over the last few years, saving countless kids as a result of their inspections and advocacy.
Last month, when inspecting a children’s detention center where kids are being jailed alone, their legal team found a premature infant who was so ill she would have died without immediate treatment. The lawyers and doctors on the team fought federal authorities to transport the baby to the hospital. And saved her life.
Same with three more gravely ill toddlers they found and transported to the hospital. The doctor who met with the children in federal custody said if she found kids in this condition in her regular practice, she would have to report the parents to authorities for criminal neglect.
The list of horrors goes on:
· An 8-month old baby with the flu forced to sleep outside for four days
· A child held in isolation for 10 days
· Pepper spray used against kids held in isolation
· Prolonged detention of kids with disabilities, abuse of kids with mental disabilities and mental health issues
· An 8 year old girl struggling to take care of an unrelated two-year old toddler in custody because there was no one else caring for him
· Children held in “secret” centers, WW2 internment camps, and unlicensed, unregulated and for-profit jails
· Kids denied access to water, and forced to sleep on concrete floors under bright lights 24/7
· No toothbrushes, toothpaste, diapers, sports or education; Kids forced to go weeks without bathing or a clean change of clothes
· Kids forcibly sedated with psychotropic drugs.
Holly and her team of warriors are one of only a handful of legal teams in the world who have the right to access CBP facilities — including the infamous “dog cages” and “hieleras” (iceboxes) where the kids are being held. Because Holly is an attorney of record in the crucial FLORES settlement, in which the federal government agreed to certain basic standards relating to detaining children, she is among a very few with the right to demand inspections of facilities, to obtain full medical records and procure the census of every child detained each month across the country.
Her team’s unique right to access CBP facilities makes them absolutely vital to investigating, communicating and advocating in the nationwide movement to get safety for these children, end the abuse, and shut down these horrifying kid prisons. Holly’s team has brought three class action lawsuits with national impact to protect these kids. Her funding is gone to see these suits to completion and we must ensure this vital work continues.
We will die on this mountain. We will BOTH continue to serve, rehabilitate and reunify these babies. AND we must stand up to defend and protect them so that this cycle of horror does not continue for other generations of babies. $240,000 will get Holly’s team what they need to continue this AND/BOTH work for 2 years: to get to the sites for inspections, interview the kids, remove them to protect their health and safety, and build legal cases to ensure that the government is not permitted to perpetuate the abuse.
There are 13,100 kids right now desperately praying for a defender and protector. Let’s do this.
As always, every penny we receive from your tax-deductible gifts will go to emergency response and long-term accountability for these child-imprisonment atrocities. Please give here: togetherrising.org/give.