Human Rights

Children Over Politics: SEIU Nurses Support and Monitor Youth Fasters

15-year-old faster, Kenia Castillo, getting her vitals checked by Executive Director of NACA, Ingela Dahlgren

15-year-old faster, Kenia Castillo, getting her vitals checked by Executive Director of NACA, Ingela Dahlgren

Last week saw manifold acts of courage, solidarity, unity, and peace, centered in the heart of Los Angeles. The border crisis is not something limited to one group of people, or even a marginalized percentage of the population. It is something that affects us all, a global issue and serious question of what “borders” (literal and otherwise) divide us as humans.

As Nurse Alliance of California, we are allied in not only our voice for nurses but also for the public health and safety of all. Aside from politics, we recognize that the growing influx of children from Central America risking their lives to make the journey to safety only to be held at detention centers awaiting an unknown fate, not to mention the growing number of undocumented children who must live in silence without security, without access, and without a home, is a humanitarian crises.

This past week, eight youth between 15-22 pledged to fast for those children, whose voice and story we all too often never hear. They were joined in support by SEIU, and were monitored by SEIU nurses to ensure their health during the weeklong fast. They were also joined by local groups, musicians, faith and labor leaders, and the general public, some of whom participated in one-day fasts across the country. With over 20 news stations interviewing the fasters and covering the fast; they are hoping this visible sacrifice will show the urgency for action on this issue by administration through policy reform. Coinciding with the fast, President Obama has been meeting with the Presidents of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala and is working towards change on this issue (see The New York Times).

Time is too short to allow these children to continue to live in an uncertain future. Let us grant safety to these refugees and work towards establishing everlasting peace across borders.

The core fasters fasting for the week and staying overnight at the church on the first day of the fast.

The core fasters fasting for the week, staying overnight at the church on the first day of the fast.

Pathways to Support:

childrenOverPolitics

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