We need to address the ongoing crisis on our border

by Ellyse Logan, Contributor

These are trying times in the U.S. People are locked up in cages at the border and children are being left without parents as ICE raids continue throughout the country. It’s easy to feel helpless thinking about the thousands of people who have had their lives turned completely upside down by the Trump administration. It reminds me of a similar time in history that I thought would never repeat itself — 1940’s Germany.

While the situation on our border with Mexico clearly hasn’t yet risen to the same severity as the Holocaust, the warning signs are important to recognize.

This time around, instead of anti-Semitic rhetoric, its anti-immigrant. The whole immigration process is in disarray and it takes a near miracle to go through the naturalization process to become “an actual citizen.” I have the privilege of having a U.S.citizenship. I later realized it’s something I took for granted all of my life, especially when I hear friends of mine talk about the uncertainty of their DACA status, the difficulties of getting a green card or when I go on Twitter and see a different child crying out for their parents as they are being separated.

So, what am I going to do about it?

This isn’t something I can simply ignore or look past like the current administration wants Americans to do. It is extremely unsettling to see how many people can look past this humanitarian crisis. These are real people with real lives trying their hardest to achieve some kind of dream and hope for their future. Isn’t that exactly the type of mantra this country was supposed to be founded on?

As a broke college student, the constant plea for donations to support these families can be daunting. But, there are actually a few key things we can do to help these families.

For those who can afford it,  there are many charities that work directly with migrant families. Organizations such as The Florence Project, Freedom for Immigrants, RAICES and KIND seek to provide legal aid, education and hotlines to report abuse for the people detained at the southern U.S. border. The American Civil Liberties Union website also lists ways you can get involved or donate to different charities. These are just a few of the many organizations fighting for justice for these families.

This doesn’t even include the many GoFundMe pages families have had to start to try to get reunified with their loved ones. Remember, every penny counts to someone who has had everything taken from them.

Not only do these agencies provide monetary aid, but they also need volunteers to help support them. If money is an issue, volunteering could be an option.

The easiest thing any of us can do is to actually care and spread awareness. Let’s not be ignorant to things happening in our own backyard. Repost to your Instagram story or retweet something to show that you stand with these families. You might be self-conscience of what your friends and family think about you posting your political views on social media, but people’s actual lives are at stake and it only takes a few clicks of a button to show that you support the cause.

The opinions of people you know should never stop you from trying to help others. People who continue to spread ignorant and racist rhetoric clearly have no problem spreading more of their hatred, so why are you afraid to say something that could help someone?

Another way to help is to learn the laws and regulations regarding immigration. Knowing your rights shouldn’t just be for people who are more likely to be approached by law enforcement, but for everyone. By doing this, we can be better allies and try to achieve justice for all people.

There is a whole movement dedicated to fighting against the law enforcement bullies through legal action. Being aware of what you can and cannot do could be the difference between life and death. By familiarizing ourselves with our laws, we will be able to vote out candidates who only think of their needs and input candidates that can help the entire nation.

The last step is to vote. Voting is an extremely essential step for helping out these families. Most of us are at an age where we are able to vote and can have our voices heard in an election, but only about 23% of people between 18 to 24 actually vote. The 2020 election is coming up and San Diego State will have a polling place and resources for students to have their voices heard. Hateful laws and executive orders against any minority group should have no place here.

There’s no way I can absolutely ensure that donating, voting, knowing your rights or anything else will reverse the damage that has been done to these families. But, we can try to create a better future for them. Money, time and knowledge will help give a voice to the voiceless. By being proactive and conscience citizens we can take back power from those who have been abusing it.

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Ellyse Logan is a sophomore studying international business. Follow her on Twitter @ellyselogan.