Recently it has been a terrible time to be an undocumented immigrant in America. It is hard to read and hear about people being put in detention after entering the country, as you feel helpless in our safe nation halfway around the world.
But now there is a simple way to assist the people struggling through these times through encouragement and positive messages, by becoming their pen pal.
There are now several non-for-profit organisations which have set up pen pal programmes for anyone to write letters of encouragement for these battling migrants.
A number of these migrants have little or no relatives near them, and what they're currently going through is incredibly isolating. So something as simple as a letter showing sympathy and by having a human connection may considerably help their mental well-being.
If this sounds like soemthing you would want to participate in, here are some of the organisations which have set up the pen pal program.
This is an easy process where you sign up online, and they will connect with a particular migrant. The only condition is that you need to be over 18, but other than that it is the most straightforward system!
Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service
LIRS wants to connect migrants who are in the detention centres with strangers who want to write to them. You register online, and they luckily provide a helpful example letter to give you a guideline if you are confused.
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
QDEP has set up a Migrant Prisoner Project, and each month they set up a pen pal day, where people can sign up online to participate. To sign up, you email email@example.com.
We can't solve the migrant issue overnight, but this simple process of writing to migrants to give them the much needed human connection would make a world of difference to their mental state.