US takes newborns from their mothers

Yes, it’s as awful as it sounds. Pregnant migrants in the Western District of Texas are being forced to give birth in USMS custody, and then hand over their newborns to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Reuniting with their babies hinges on their release from federal custody and whether they can access legal help to navigate the US child welfare system. Read the whole heartbreaking story here:

Five children die in US custody in 6 months

A sixteen-year-old Guatemalan boy died yesterday, after being denied release from detention for more than a week. This is the fifth child death at the southern border since December 2018. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling for an investigation. You can support this by calling Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to object to the maltreatment of children.


Honduran mom, kids coming to Oregon. Here’s how you can help

OWLS member Edie Rogoway has, through her contacts at Al Otro Lado, been notified of a family seeking asylum from Honduras who was in need of emergency sponsorship and housing. The OWLS network has provided! Alana Iturbide Simmons and her family have stepped up in the biggest way to offer housing. Joslyn Keating is coordinating donations of clothing and household goods. There is a PayPal donation account for money for transportation from California, and then for the expenses Alana and her family will have feeding and housing the family for six months.

Here’s what we know: mom is 29, has three children with her: two girls, ages 3 and 12, and one boy, age 9. They will be arriving within a week, with the clothes on their backs.

Here’s how to donate: Share this link with friends and family. Make it your birthday donation request.

If you have in-kind donations, they need: a bunk bed and bedding, gift cards for clothing, hygiene items, etc., a toddler bed, a car seat, toys. Contact Joslyn at

If you have social service contacts in Vancouver WA, or can help with occasional transportation to appointments, contact Alana at

And, watch the listserv for follow-up requests.

Government kept such poor records that they can reunite only 60 kids with parents

The government has separated thousands of children from their asylum-seeking parents in the last few years. They have now admitted that they kept such poor records that they have been able to reunite only 60 of those children with their parents. For the thousands remaining, there are parent alien numbers, but no way to connect them to particular children.

Rule change makes immigrant visas far harder to obtain

The narrative of those opposing asylum seekers is that they should enter the US “the right way.” But a little-known change in the State Department foreign-affairs manual is giving diplomats wide discretion in deciding visa denials on the grounds that applicants may become a drain on US resources, a so-called “public charge” denial. The change in the manual means the State Department avoided going through a rulemaking process, with its attendant public comment. With the manual changes in January 2018, denials of visa applications have quadrupled over the previous fiscal year.

The US government is flagging passports for US citizens engaging in legal activities: lawyers, journalists, and pastors

There is evidence that the US government, in tandem with the Mexican government, is flagging the passports of US citizens who are crossing the border to work on the immigration issue. A couple of weeks ago NBC broke a story about lawyers and journalists either being deported from Mexico at the request of “a foreign government,” or being subjected to extended interrogation at the border. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is looking into this, and has requested information from the Customs and Border Patrol regarding these events.

Now, here is a first-hand account from a religious leader, a co-founder of the New Sanctuary Movement, who has traveled to Mexico to offer spiritual counseling to migrants. Her passport has been flagged.

Duct tape

It can fix things. It can destroy things, like the feeling of safety, or of humanity. Migrant women seeking asylum are reporting that they have been bound and gagged. This has happened before, during and after their journey, and as the border restrictions grow tighter, the risks of human smuggling increase.