December 13, 2012
It's not every day that members of Congress hear a powerful message delivered by their youngest constituents. But yesterday was one of those rare days. Dozens of children walked the halls of Congress, delivering boxes of letters from thousands of their peers from all across the country. The letters are drawn in crayon and handwritten on notebook paper. They come from 26 states, and from young people ranging from toddlers to teenagers. They are filled with stories of pain, frustration, and hope. And together, they express one powerful wish: stop deportations and keep all of our families together.
An estimated 5.5 million children in the U.S. have at least one undocumented parent, and families are being separated every day. The letter delivery was the culmination of A Wish for the Holidays, a campaign for children and youth to tell their own stories of how immigration policies negatively impact their lives, their families and their communities. As members of Congress enter into negotiations on reforms to the country's immigration laws, A Wish for the Holidays youth delegates made it clear that the needs of children and families must be met.
The delegation delivered thousands of letters to 50 members of Congress, released a Children's Declaration on Immigrant Rights and Family Unity, and told their stories at a youth press conference. Speakers included 19-year-old Eliza Morales, whose mother was deported when she was 14, and 12-year-old Anthony Hoz-Peña, whose father has been in detention for nine months. As they told their stories, Eliza and Anthony made it clear that no child should suffer the pain that they've endured.
TODAY, it's up to us to make sure their voices are heard. Will you take a minute to call your members of Congress today to ask them to read the children's letters and take action to keep families together?
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