Sunday, December 3, 2017

Free the Berks Kids - Innocent Children Growing Up in Jail

Thank you Amnesty International USA for sponsoring this post.

In August, four families, including children were released after being held for almost two years at a locked-down facility in Pennsylvania. If you think this couldn't happen in a place like the United States of America, a country built on freedom, where we are innocent until proven guilty, you might be shocked to find out what was uncovered in an investigation of a place where innocent children and their families are locked up.

Amnesty International discovered that the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania is currently holding at least 60 parents and kids for the so-called crime of seeking safety for their families from violence or persecution.

The Berks Kids - Hear Their Stories and End Family Detention

Many of the families who are being held at Berks are from Central America, where Amnesty International has documented horrific violence. If deported, they could be facing incredibly dangerous situations, perhaps even death, upon their return.

The parents are facing an impossible choice: stay and risk violence or flee to the U.S. and risk ending up behind bars with their children.

The United States had agreed along with many other nations to treat people with compassion and respect their human rights while their claims are considered but some refugees are never even given a hearing before being deported. Others are imprisoned for outrageously long lengths of time with reports of parents and kids separated during the process.

As an American, it's hard to imagine what it must be like to have our lives threatened and be forced to flee our home but none of us would accept our children being held for an extended period time like this.

Successful community based alternatives to detention exist so it’s time for the U.S. government to end the cruel practice of family detention at centers like Berks once and for all. They must immediately release detained families.

A mother speaks about how happy her little boy is to be free after spending much of his childhood at Berks.

Amnesty International USA is fighting to ensure that people with asylum claims are given a fair hearing and humane treatment. Lawyers and advocates are working hard to spread awareness for this oversight in human rights, but more needs to be done to correct it.

We must do everything we can to ensure protection for people who are fleeing violence. As fellow humans, my fellow moms - we all share a responsibility to help people who have lost everything, and to give them a chance to rebuild their lives safely the same way any of us would need to if we were in this horrible situation.

What can we do to help refugees

Share this post on social media.

Send this form letter to Take Action against Berks.

Visit Amnesty International, an organization committed to documenting and fighting human rights abuses for easy current actions you can take.

Welcome refugees when given the opportunity.

Donate money, time, or other items requested by local and international organizations that help refugees.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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