It is often said that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than here in Houston, where fully a quarter of us are foreign-born – and proudly so. We like to think of ourselves as a blueprint for the rest of the country, the embodiment of a vibrant and thriving community derived from the diversity of experience and origin of its people.

As a philanthropic institution that is working to improve the quality of life of residents in greater Houston, we know it is not possible to do so without justice for all people.

For these reasons, Houston Endowment has signed two statements regarding the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border:

“Philanthropy Responds to Inhumane Family Separation and Detention Policies,” from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), of which we are a member.

Excerpt: “We, the undersigned, stand united in our belief that separating families, as well as detaining them together indefinitely, is morally unacceptable and traumatic for parents and children. We have a collective responsibility to act with compassion when responding to the needs of those who come to our country seeking protection. We urge our grantmaking colleagues to join us in speaking out, shifting the public discourse locally and nationally, boldly taking action, and responding generously and swiftly to on-the-ground needs.”

“Detention of Asylum Seeking Families is an Abuse of Justice,” from the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC), which we helped to found.

Excerpt: “We are in the midst of a manufactured crisis that is creating a false need for new Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelter in Houston. While the service providers stand ready to help families impacted by family separation and we welcome these families in Houston, we reject the notion that we should enable the build-out of the detention system.”

For those looking for direction on how to help or donate to support organizations doing direct services for separated families, please visit HILSC’s resource page.