Defending All of America’s Children | May 2018

Harms to Children from Executive Orders and Other Administration Actions


The Children’s Defense Fund joined CLASP (Center for Law and Social Policy), The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to brief legislative staff earlier this month on Children Under Attack: Major Threats to Children’s Safety and How Congress Can Respond. The briefing was a reminder of the serious harms facing children as a result of executive actions that threaten children in immigrant families and also display total disregard for other vulnerable children and their families. Concerns include:

  • The anticipated public charge rule that would penalize non-citizen lawfully residing immigrants for using an expanded group of public benefits for which they are eligible. Even talk of this proposal is already resulting in families withdrawing or refusing to enroll in important publicly-funded health and nutrition programs for their citizen children. 
  • The forcible separation of children of all ages from their parents along the U.S. Mexico Border, a practice affirmed by the Attorney General Sessions this month. There is also evidence that unaccompanied minors coming across the border alone are receiving harsh treatment and may not be connected with appropriate caregivers in a timely fashion.
  • Actions by the federal Education Department to roll back guidance protecting students from discrimination on the basis of race and sexual orientation that will harm children.

Funding cuts, proposed by the President and others in the Administration to help pay for the $1.6 trillion deficit caused by the 2017 tax cuts bill, and disguised as work requirements threaten children in Medicaid, SNAP and rental and other housing assistance.  While the children themselves will not be required to work, given the unreasonableness of these requirements and the lack of supports to help parents work, parents are likely to lose coverage and in turn children will be harmed by the family’s loss of health care, food and a roof over their head.


Register to Vote

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The right to vote is the most powerful tool we have in a democratic society and we know you are a person who votes with the interest of America’s children in mind. Click here to make sure you are registered, receive election reminders and apply for your absentee ballot today. Registration deadlines are coming up and our nation’s children are counting on you.


Learn Something New to Improve the Lives of Children (and Your Own!)

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School's out for summer, but for organizers, clergy, seminarians, campus chaplains, young activists and faith-based advocates the best learning opportunities are ahead! At CDF's Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry at CDF Haley Farm July 16-20, participants will engage in two dynamic small group sessions each afternoon, learning new strategies, skills, models and approaches to make a positive difference for children. These interactive workshops are organized along "tracks" that will examine: Nonviolent Direct Action Community Organizing; Education for Emancipation; Dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline; Prophetic Word; 50 Years of Progress--Where We've Been, Where We Are and What's Next; White Supremacy, Trauma and Healing; Dreamers--Building Bridges, Dismantling Walls; and Network of Mutuality: Intersecting Justice Movements. Late afternoon sessions will explore movement-building through dance, song and visual arts, engage participants in telling our stories of communities in crisis, delve into the spirituality of Howard Thurman, introduce somatic health for healing after trauma, invite reflections on the day and facilitate intergenerational conversation. These interactive, dynamic small group sessions are complemented by plenary sessions with powerful preachers, profound theologians and inspiring speakers, all in an interracial, intergenerational, ecumenical experience of Beloved Community. You will leave refreshed, renewed and equipped to make an even bigger difference for children. Learn more and register now to join us!


CDF Texas – Beat the Odds® Event


Children’s Defense Fund Texas was pleased to honor and award five truly extraordinary high school seniors with a Beat the Odds scholarship at our 19th annual awards luncheon Tuesday, May 22. Hundreds of guests were present to celebrate Norberto Pineda, Amber Ayala, Bianca Rodriguez, Asanthi Deras, and Indhira Mata as they each received a $5,000 scholarship along with various college essentials, including a laptop computer, complete dorm-room setup, and a round-trip ticket donated by United Airlines. Martha and Israel “Izzy” Gomez were also honored as Champions of Children for their work with Navidad En El Barrio, a nonprofit Izzy started in 1987 that brings joy to thousands of low-income children and senior adults. It was an incredibly uplifting event! Learn more about CDF’s Beat the Odds Program.


Sign Up To Be An Advocate For Children

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Are you ready to put your passion into practice? Sign up to be a Child Defender Fellow. The Fellowship program is housed in a virtual learning community with evening webinar sessions, taking place over the course of 5 months. During each training Fellows will deepen their understanding of child advocacy practices, gain exposure to key policy issues impacting children and families, and develop their skillset as nonviolent, community organizers.

If you have a passion for creating better outcomes of all of America’s children and combating harmful policies and practices, this program is for you! Apply today at

Child Watch® Columns


If you missed any of Marian Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® Columns this month — take the time to catch up now.

Dr. James Cone

Honoring Birmingham’s Great Children’s Crusade Which Changed Our Nation

Help Us Keep Dr. King’s Promise

California’s Chance to Lead for Poor Children



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