Fundraiser to reunite families separated at U.S. border raises $5.4 million in four days
The fundraiser started on Saturday morning with a goal of $1,500, but at one point on Monday the campaign was earning $4,000 every minute.
A Facebook fundraiser started by a California couple has raised more than $5 million dollars over just four days for immigrant families separated at the U.S. border.
After seeing a viral photo of a crying two-year-old immigrant girl witnessing her mother’s arrest, Charlotte and Dave Willner took to Facebook to start a fundraising campaign called “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child.” The goal as of Saturday morning was $1,500, but at one point on Monday the campaign was earning $4,000 every minute.
“These aren’t kids we don't have to care about. They’re like our kids,” Charlotte Willner told the San Jose Mercury News. “When we look at the faces of these children, we can’t help but see our own children's faces.”
About 133,000 people had donated $5.4 million as of Tuesday afternoon.
The money goes to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a nonprofit in Texas that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees.
“We do not have the words to thank Charlotte and Dave Willner,” RAICES posted on Facebook. “We’ve been occasionally crying around the office all day when we check the fundraising totals. There are terrible things happening in the world. And there are many people who are deciding not to look away but to do something.”
On behalf of the famlies we can serve thanks to your generosity, we say THANK YOU. We will keep fighting. We will keep working. You make it possible. #EndFamilySeparation #FamiliesBelongTogether https://t.co/0wzHYPurfj pic.twitter.com/FbOVqgt7Lv— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) June 18, 2018
Since May, more than 2,300 immigrant children have been separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy that orders the criminal prosecution of every person caught illegally crossing the U.S. border.
In the past, immigrants caught crossing the border illegally were placed with their children in immigration detention, but the new policy calls for border-crossing adults to be placed in federal prison, effectively resulting in an inevitable separation from their children.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the policy last week with a bible verse.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government, because God has ordained them for the purpose of order. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful,” he said, leaving out what the verses from Romans 13 go on to say: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Sessions and other anti-immigration proponents have framed the policy as a clear-cut “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time” scenario that places culpability squarely in border-crossing parents’ hands.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters on Monday:
“In the last five months, we have a 314% increase in adults and children arriving at the border, fraudulently claiming to be a family unit,” she said, later adding that those “are traffickers, those are smugglers. That is MS-13. Those are criminals and those are abusers.”
That increase is accurate on year-over-year basis, but what she didn’t mention was, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s own data, alleged child smuggling accounted for only 0.6 percent, or 46 cases, of total border apprehensions so far this year.
President Donald Trump has said the policy comes from laws signed by Democrats in congress, but the directive came from his administration and could be reversed “with a phone call” from the president, as Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, told CNN.
Many Americans oppose the policy, including some leading Republicans and more than 600 members of Sessions’ church, arguing that it inflicts psychological trauma on children.
In early June, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the Keep Families Together Act—a bill that would ban family separation except in cases where officials believe child abuse or trafficking is taking place. It’s currently the only bill that would stop the practice, and it has the support of all Senate Democrats but zero Senate Republicans, some of whom have said they’re looking into drafting their own legislation to tackle the issue.
“Congress has a moral obligation to take a stand and say that families should not be forcibly separated,” Feinstein said in a statement. “To traumatize them further is unconscionable, and I hope that our Republican colleagues will work with us to put an end to this immoral policy.”
- The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a set of 17 directives to be completed by a 2030 deadline, with the aim of significantly improving quality of life for all people on Earth.
- Pfizer's commitment to the UN's SDG #3, Good Health and Well-being, is exemplified by its mission to improve global health through a combination of local and global programs catalyzed by innovative health leaders.
- In 1998, Pfizer embarked on a 22-year mission to eradicate trachoma by 2020.Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that can cause irreversible blindness or vision impairment. So far, it has been eradicated in six countries.
- Pfizer is a committed partner in improving global health, helping to provide a number of critical cancer medications to six African countries where an estimated 44 percent of all cancer cases in sub-Saharan Africa occur each year
The lawsuit could someday reach the Supreme Court and change the way the nation's universities approach college admissions practices.
- The lawsuit claims Harvard University discriminates against Asian American students, who currently constitute 22.9 percent of the freshman class.
- Harvard denies the allegations, arguing that its admissions practices don't discriminate against anyone.
- The plaintiffs are backed by the Trump administration. Harvard is backed by multiple student organizations, including the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian-American Association.
Why do Americans have so much debt?
His book warns us of the dangers of mass media, passivity, and how even an intelligent population can be driven to gladly choose dictatorship over freedom.
- This 1931 novel predicted modern life almost to a (model) T.
- While other dystopias get more press, Brave New World offers us a nightmare world that we've moved steadily towards over the last century.
- Author Aldous Huxley's ideas on a light handed totalitarian dictatorship stand in marked contrast to the popular image of a dictatorship that relies on force.
Achieving good health and well-being around the world is critical to the company's mission
A new study finds that simply growing up in a home with enough books increases adult literacy and math prowess.
- A child growing up in a home with at least 80 books will have greater literacy and numeracy in adulthood.
- A home library can promote reading and math skills more than college alone can.
- Growing up in a pro-learning home leads to a lifetime of knowledge-seeking.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Why would two intelligent women running a hugely successful podcast at one of the most respected studios in the audio world quit to risk everything on a technology almost nobody understands?
- Fake news, real risk, and the messy rise of blockchain media.
- Why people police other people's voices
- And much, much more.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.