Helping Migrants: “It was the closest thing we could do to hugging that kid,” the couple said of the photo of a crying toddler that has since gone viral
By Riya Bhattacharjee
Silicon Valley Couple Raises More Than $20M on Facebook to Help Reunite Migrant Families
In what Facebook is calling its single largest fundraiser ever, a couple from Silicon Valley raised more than $20 million to help reunite migrant families separated at the border.
The issue has created a national firestorm about the Trump administration’s immigration policies, with many calling the separation of children from their parents at the southern U.S. border barbaric.
Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families over a six-week period.
When Charlotte and Dave Willner created the “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child” fundraiser on Facebook Saturday, the goal was to raise $1,500 for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (Raices), which is the largest immigration legal service provider in Texas. The fundraiser has gone viral since then, and at one point it was raising $4,000 a minute.
So far, more than 523,000 people have donated.
“We are collectively revulsed at what’s happening to immigrant families on our southern border. In times when we often think that the news can’t possibly get worse, it does − we learned last night that 2,000 children (many of them infants and toddlers) have been separated from their parents in just six weeks under President Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy,” Charlotte Wilner wrote in a Facebook post.
“These children don’t know where their parents are. Their parents aren’t allowed to communicate with them while in custody. The government hasn’t set up a system to reunite separated parents and children if one or both are ultimately released. In many cases, parents have been deported without their children — sometimes, young children are deported without their parents.”