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We’ll be paying close attention to the State of the Union address

As President Trump has been talking about building his wall and preparing for the State of the Union address, the SPLC’s Mary Bauer has been at the border.

Mary leads our legal efforts to seek justice for immigrants and fight back against the Trump administration for trampling their rights.

As you might have seen on CNN last night, she’s in Tijuana talking to families who have fled desperate conditions and want nothing more than the opportunity to ask our country for asylum – something they’re legally and morally entitled to do.

President Trump is right about one thing: There is a crisis at the border.

But it’s crisis of his own making, one fueled by bigotry and driven by the extremists among his advisers and the far-right media personalities to whom he listens.

It’s a crisis of families being torn apart, of children being traumatized, separated from their parents and imprisoned.

It’s a crisis of our asylum system – a hallmark of our nation’s respect for human rights – being virtually shut down by this government.

With your help, we’re fighting back across multiple fronts.

We’ve recently filed two major lawsuits challenging the administration’s attack on asylum seekers. And just last month, we sued the administration for holding more than 10,000 immigrant children in detention for prolonged periods as “bait” to obtain information about their potential sponsors.

At the same time, we’re providing free legal counsel to immigrants incarcerated in remote prisons across the South. And we’re suing a for-profit prison operator that’s fattening its bottom line by forcing detained immigrants to work just to pay for basic necessities.

We’ll be paying close attention to Trump tonight during the State of the Union address.

We hope he stops telling lies about immigrants to stoke fear and resentment.

We hope he will listen to the cries for justice and learn from the suffering he has caused.

But we’re not naïve. Just hours ago, Trump tweeted that “tremendous numbers of people” are “flooding our Southern Border.” He said he sent additional troops to “build a Human Wall,” adding that “If we had a real Wall, this would be a non-event!”

No one knows what Trump will do next. But we do know that we won’t stop fighting on behalf of vulnerable people while his assault on our immigration system continues.