Jennifer Lopez is using her platform on Twitter to urge her 45.3 million followers to take action now against Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has separated thousands of children from their families at the border — some as young as nine months old. In a series of tweets on Thursday, Lopez called on her fans to take immediate action to help, writing: “remaining silent is not an option."
Lopez, 48, began her impassioned thread as a parent: “Reading the news about the separation of children from their families, I can’t help but think about my own children,” she tweeted. “I cannot fathom a world where they would be ripped from my arms, taken to a place no better than a prison far from home.” Lopez has two children, her 10-year-old twins Emme and Max. She goes on proudly to remind the world of her deep love for her heritage, both as a Latino and “as a proud Bronx born Puerto Rican,” and says it’s time to assure that the hateful rhetoric against immigrants stops now.
“This is about basic human rights and decency,” she tweeted. “If you care about children, have concern for the lack of transparency about this disastrous display, in full view to the world in general, I encourage you first to get caught up on the situation.” Lopez urged her followers to get politically engaged not tomorrow, but right now by calling their congressperson to “demand answers.”
But as horrifying as it is to bear witness to what’s been happening at the Southern border, Lopez also asks that her followers try to have hope. “Hold fast to hope, faith and Love,” she wrote. “ Supporting one another in these troubled times, we can remain on the right side of history: the side where children are safe and in their parents arms. Act now, call now, speak now, LOVE now.”
Lopez is among many artists, athletes, journalists, and politicians, who are using their platforms to not only call attention to these detention centers, but to tell people that action is necessary. The details about these family separations and the supposed conditions inside the detention centers, where children are have been kept in cages, are bone-chilling. But as Lopez pointed out as well, another crisis is the crisis of transparency. The White House isn’t exactly giving clear answers of where these children are taken after they have been torn from their families. And while Trump signed an order to stop separating kids from their families earlier this week, the order doesn’t address families who have already been affected by the policy, according to BBC.
If you would like to aid in reuniting these migrant children with their families, who are likely scared and many of whom do not speak English, here are some easy steps you can take right now.
You can donate to an immigrant advocacy organization doing work on the ground at the border. The Texas Civil Rights Project, for instance, is a group of lawyers providing much needed legal representation to migrants. Here’s a great list of other reputable organizations. (Note: While a donation to the ACLU is always a good thing, these smaller, grassroots organizations on the ground need funding too.)
If you can’t afford to donate, that’s OK. You can RSVP to one of the Families Belong Together rallies that will be taking places all across the country on June 30. Find one in your city here.
And if you need a dose of hope, as Lopez encouraged, take a look at these photos of New Yorkers at LaGuardia in protest this week, with signs to welcome migrant children that had been separated from their families. Act now, call now, speak now — love now.
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