Since before he was elected into the Oval Office, one of President Donald Trump's primary goals has been to eliminate illegal immigration, or more specifically and perhaps most notably, to build a border wall. Over the past three years and in recent months, the measures taken by his administration have been concerning, cruel, and overall horrifying. Many advocates and concerned citizens have spoken out about the Trump administration's policies, including many celebrity parents who've stood up for immigrant families and their rights amid this ongoing humanitarian crisis, proving there are many people out there ready to use their status for good.
Many have deemed what's happening at the border as a "crisis," and many celebrities are using their platform to advocate for vulnerable families attempting to seek refuge and safety in the United States. The situation, to this day, is dire. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), at least seven migrant children have died in recent months either while they were in custody of U.S. immigration officials or after being detained.
Earlier this summer, drawings by immigrant children depicted appalling conditions they experienced while in detention centers. The ACLU has said that detention facilities are "dangerously overcrowded" and migrants held there are "forced to wear soiled clothes for days at a time."
Celebrities have been actively and loudly speaking out against the Trump administration's immigration policies for years now, dating back to his family separation policy that tore countless families apart and it, as NBC News reported recently, "never really ended." The immigration crisis is still very much ongoing and here is a sampling of celebrity parents who've stood up for immigrant families caught within it.
Back in March, actress and activist America Ferrera, who welcomed her son Sebastian Piers Williams in May 2018, partnered with Now This News to travel to Tijuana to record a video showing the realities of people who are fleeing violence in Central America, and attempting to seek asylum in the United States.
"There are policies being enacted on the migrants seeking asylum that our government fails to acknowledge are actually happening," Ferrera says in the video.
Last June, composer and father of two Lin-Manuel Miranda penned a song to separated immigrant families, offering them hope and promising that the country will work to improve. According to CNN, the lyrics read:
"We'll bleed and fight for you/we'll make it right for youIf we lay a strong enough foundation/We'll pass it on to you we'll give the world to you."
Earlier this summer, actress Busy Philipps, who has two daughters, supported the Families Belong Together movement by posting a photo of a hotline that fans and followers could call to contact their representatives and urge lawmakers to close detention centers, which have been compared to "concentration camps."
"Ready to join us in taking action and pushing back against the administration’s human rights abuses? Call Congress and tell them to #CloseTheCamps," Philipps wrote on Instagram in June.
Actress Jennifer Garner, who has three children of her own, recently partnered with Save The Children, helping migrant families and kids assimilate to life after they've been released from detention centers. The organization assists in everything from hygiene to clothing and food, and Garner visited one of its facilities to share what important work they are doing, and how to donate if so you would wish to help too.
As she wrote on Instagram in June, "@savethechildren is running new programs in New Mexico, helping migrant families and children recover from their harrowing journeys and sending them onto their sponsor families with fresh clothes, medicine, clean bodies, full bellies, toys and a lot of love."
While celebrating the Fourth of July, Padma Lakshmi, who has a 9-year-old daughter, posted a photo of a cherry pie on Instagram that read: "Close the camps," and shared an important message reminding everyone that despite feeling pride, there are still serious issues occurring in the United States.
"While we celebrate the Fourth, there are refugee families legally seeking asylum in this country being detained and forced to sleep on concrete floors with aluminum blankets and no medical care," Lakshmi wrote in July. "This is a stain on our nation and we need to do something now."
Amy Schumer, who gave birth to her first child in May, recently drew her fans and followers' attention to the organization Immigrant Families Together, which "is a network of Americans committed to rapid response unification of families separated by 'zero tolerance' policies."
In the caption of a photo of her son Gene from June, Schumer wrote: "Here is our son Gene. He likes looking around and laughing at his toy the black and white butterfly. Always down for a nap and a good cry if the poops are on the reg he wanted me to tell you guys he wants you to volunteer or donate here."
Last month, Alyssa Milano, who has two children, shared on Twitter that she visited a detention center, under the caveat of what is called a "community visit," as Newsweek reported. She wrote on Twitter, "This is the loophole I used to get into the Karnes Father/Son Detention Center. I showed up & they had to let me in. Hold them accountable. Show up. Let them know you're watching."
Also in June, according to Reuters, Milano joined immigration activists outside of detention center, holding heart signs.
Anne Hathaway, who's currently pregnant with her second child, broke her Instagram silence back in 2017 to protest Trump's executive order that banned immigration and travel from several Muslim-majority countries, according to People.
“I wasn’t planning on coming back so soon, but this moment cannot be met with silence,” she wrote on Instagram in January 2017. “America is great when she is allowed to be herself — a country powerful enough to accept and absorb those who’s lives have been broken by circumstances beyond their control, a beacon of hope in a world ravaged by war, sorrow and destruction ALL WHILE she keeps her own citizens safe.”
In 2018, she also spoke out against the Trump administration's immigration policies. In the caption of a photo of a mother and children running away from tear gas, Hathaway wrote, "My country gassed children. There are no words for my horror... For those that still believe in voting for the man who recommended using lethal force on families fleeing violence and persecution: this is the policy you like?"
Jimmy Fallon, father of two, used his popular late night show to help support the following organizations that are advocating for immigrant families:
- Kids In Need Of Defense (KIND)
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
- Services, Immigration Rights & Education Network (SIREN)
After President Trump was a guest on the show in 2016, during which the talkshow host ruffled the then-candidate's hair, Fallon said he'd donate to RAICES in Trump's name, according to The New York Times.
After Trump announced his plan to abolish citizenship for children born on U.S. soil to "non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants," according to Axios, Kaling took to Twitter to say how she personally would have been affected, as HuffPost reported.
"Wait. I was born in the United States to two Indian professionals who later became proud citizens of this country," Kaling, who has a daughter named Katherine, wrote in 2018. "So... now I would be a citizen of India? My contributions to this country would be as a foreigner with no rights?"
And in June 2018, Kaling shared on Twitter that "as a mother and a daughter of immigrants" she was "heartbroken about children being separated from their families at America's borders."
Chrissy Teigen & John Legend
As the child of an immigrant herself (Chrissy Teigen's mother is Thai, becoming a U.S. citizen in 2018), the mother of two along with her husband, John Legend, donated $72,000 for each member of their family to the ACLU to help fight against immigration policy. The kicker? They made the donation on Trump's birthday.
Last summer, Teigen also protested against Trump's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy at the "Families Belong Together" march. "I’m incredibly proud to be a daughter of an immigrant," she said at the rally with her son Miles in her arms, according to HuffPost. "Making America greater most definitely doesn’t mean turning asylum-seekers away or kidnapping their kids to turn them away from coming here. I cannot even comprehend the cruelty in the hearts of the people who enacted this policy, but I do know that they didn’t expect us to come together in such an incredible way to resist this."
After speaking out against Trump's immigration policies, Kristen Bell, who has two daughters with husband Dax Shepard, actually campaigned to help a mother reunite with her family, mobilizing followers to donate to the cause, according to APlus.
Bell also recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the current immigration crisis and why she decided to get involved and vocal. "I teach my family that there’s no such thing as other people’s children; that our empathy can and should reach far beyond the boundaries of our four walls. My children hold me accountable for everything, annoyingly so," Bell told The Hollywood Reporter.
George & Amal Clooney
George and Amal Clooney, who welcomed their twins in 2017, made a donation of $100,000 to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights in support of immigrant children, according to TIME. They later shared in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter: "At some point in the future our children will ask us: 'Is it true, did our country really take babies from their parents and put them in detention centers?' And when we answer yes, they’ll ask us what we did about it."