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UA panel discusses ways to help separated migrant families

Advising informing self, advocating, protesting
Posted: 10:46 PM, Jun 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-30 05:34:32Z

Dozens attended a panel at the University of Arizona on Friday where university experts and local advocates discussed ways community members can help families separated at the border. 

Ana O'Leary, the Department Head of Mexican American studies at UA, says more people should study the issue of families being separated.

"The hard way of getting facts is to read about it, study about it, inquire, get firsthand information," O'Leary said.

The administration's zero-tolerance policy has lead to the separation of roughly 2,000 children. This week, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite families within 30 days. On Friday, President Trump said 500 families were reunified, but thousands remain unaccounted for.

The panel, called, "Migration is a Human Right: A Call to Action" was held to discuss several different ways people could help separated families. The panelists represented UA College of Public Health, Derechos Humanos, Southern Border Communities Coalition, The Samaritans, St. Elizabeth Heath Center and UA College of Nursing.

Some of the recommended ways of helping include protesting, joining an advocacy group, medical amnesty, and exercising compassion for others even those you disagree with.

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UA student Alejandro Chavez described the consequences of separating families at the border as the butterfly effect, saying it's going to affect everyone.

Chavez, who was born in Nogales, Ariz., says he learned taking action is more important than simply raising his voice. 

"Not just to go out and protest once, but to join an advocacy organization," Chavez said. "So I think I definitely want to look into something that fits my interests so that I can kind of long term protest something more productive like that."