Human Rights - Politics

NFL Players Donate Time, Money To Help Detained Immigrant Children (IMAGE)

Published on June 29, 2018 by Athena Pallas

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis, both members of the social justice organization Players Coalition, went to San Antonio Texas to donate their time and money to provide supplies for detained immigrant children. As Norman tweeted, “I did not start this. But I will help to end this.”

Working with the non-profit legal aid organization (RAICES), Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, Norman and Davis shopped for supplies for the children, spending $10,000 of their own money, and also had a chance to meet with some of the children to give them food and bookbags full of supplies and toys. RAICES has been a key organization to which people wanting to help immigrants detained under Trump’s zero tolerance policy have donated both money and time. One crowdfunding campaign has raised over $20 million for RAICES in just 14 days. Norman and Davis of course do not have any sort of power to get these children released from detention, but they were able to brighten the day for some of these children. According to The Hill:

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman told USA Today Sports on Thursday that he felt compelled to do something after reading about the thousands of children in detention centers. “Put yourself in somebody else’s shoes,” Norman told the outlet. “They’ve got nothing, come here seeking asylum, know nothing of where they’re going to, other than that it’s gotta be better than where they were. Then you get to this place, and they treat you like less than a dog. We’ve lost our touch as a humanity…This is about the kids.”…Norman went to Texas with New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis, USA Today reported…The men landed in San Antonio on Tuesday and filled shopping carts at a local Walmart with supplies for the migrant children…“We walked into the place and you could see how broken they were,” Norman told USA Today of meeting the children. “So disheartened. They don’t know where they are, really. Then we brought out the book bags and it was like flipping a light switch. You could see the darkness replaced by light and the joy.”

RAICES tweeted an image of the pair along with carts full of supplies that they bought at a local store. RAICES praised Norman’s efforts, writing, “We are so thrilled to have Pro Football Player volunteering with us today! We already put him to work assembling backpack care packages for families. He was up all night. Thank you, Josh! ”

Davis tweeted this image from the supply-gathering trip, writing, “I don’t care how much the world hates, i will always choose love.”

Norman tweeted this image of interaction with some of the children, writing, “I did not start this. But I will help to end this.”

Norman and Davis exemplify the humanity that seems so lacking in the Trump administration. Trump did make a vague executive order stopping his inhumane policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, but he then replaced that with the inhumane practice of keeping children in detention, and the Trump administration had no timeline or cohesive plan for reuniting with their parents the thousands of children already separated. A federal judge’s ruling now will force the Trump administration to work to specific goals. The ruling, made Tuesday, forces the administration to indeed stop the separation and gives specific timelines for reunification. According to CNN:

The court order specifically requires federal officials to stop detaining parents apart from their minor children, absent a determination the parent is unfit or the parent declines reunification; reunify all parents with their minor children who are under the age of 5 within 14 days and reunify all parents with their minor children age 5 and older within 30 days. The order also mandates that officials provide parents contact with their children by phone within 10 days, if the parent is not already in contact with his or her child.
“Plaintiffs(the ACLU) have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable harm, and that the balance of equities and the public interest weigh in their favor, thus warranting issuance of a preliminary injunction,” US District Court Judge Dana Sabraw wrote Tuesday.

Currently, it is only legal to keep these children in detention for 20 days. President Trump, continuing in his lack of respect for human rights, would like Congress to act to change the law to allow the detention of these children for much longer periods. As is evidenced by his subsequent action, Trump’s executive order stopping the separation of children from their parents does not represent a thawing of Trump’s heart – he made that order to get out from under a growing PR nightmare for him. Trump cares about Trump.

The Republican majority Congress is showing an extremely lackluster effort in trying to rein in Trump’s agenda. It is left to the courts, such as the ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Sabraw, to try to rein Trump in and force him to be accountable. In the meantime, efforts like those of Davis and Norman help to bring attention to the continuing plight of immigrant children effected by Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.