People

How Amy Schumer, Kristen Bell and more celebrities are joining forces to reunite migrant families

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Christobel Hastings
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As a wave of celebrities develop a budding interest in political activism, nearly 60 Hollywood A-listers have teamed up with Immigrant Families Together to help reunite migrant families separated at the border. 

In recent times, the state of US politics under the Trump administration has catalysed a surprising and heartening phenomenon. You might have observed it when comedian Jon Stewart championed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which ensures the extension of compensation for victims until 2090, or noticed that Kim Kardashian’s advocacy to reform the criminal justice system resulted in the release of Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time nonviolent drug offender who’d been serving a life sentence since 1996.

As the might of celebrity grows stronger than ever before, you need only scroll your social media feed to find that anyone who’s anyone has been showcasing an burgeoning interest in activism, and changing the political landscape for the better. Now, a roster of Hollywood A-listers have lent their support to a new campaign from the organisation Immigrant Families Together (IFT) to end the separation of migrant families at the US-Mexico border. 

The Every. Last. One. campaign, which demands that the US government commit to reuniting every single migrant family that has been separated at the southern border, has received a star-studded show of support from nearly 60 Hollywood A-listers.

In the campaign video, a range of actors, presenters, and media personalities such as Kristen Bell, Amy Schumer, Billy Porter, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gloria Steinem, Lucy Liu, Rosario Dawson, Amber Tamblyn, Ingrid Michaelson, Clinton Kelly and Daveed Diggs contribute a clip of themselves reciting the line “Every last one” to the camera.

“We at Immigrant Families Together are making a commitment to every case of family separation at our border,” members of the organisation also declare in the video.

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The plight of separated migrant families has been the source of public outcry in past months, after reports emerged that the Trump administration were detaining children in dirty, overcrowded conditions without access to basic toiletries such as toothpaste and soap. Meanwhile, earlier this month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exposed the suffering of migrants at a US Customs and Border Protection facility in Texas, where she described how women were being forced to drink water from toilets, and denied showers and access to life-saving medication.

Although President Donald Trump officially ended the family separation policy last summer, according to The New York Times, the administration has continued the policy, estimating that there are “thousands more” children that have been separated from their parents than the figure of 2,737 previously released by the government.

“It has been more than a year since the Trump administration distanced itself from its own family separation policy, but the separations have continued,” the campaign director, Meghan Finn, told People. “Too many families continue to be separated, and too many children are growing up traumatised and afraid, with no idea when or if they will ever see their loved ones again. This is beyond horrifying and has to stop immediately.”

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The IFT doesn’t just work to reunite families separated by the “zero tolerance” policy. The network also raises bonds to release migrants out of ICE detention, organises pro bono legal representation, and provides food, housing, transportation and medical assistance when needed. 

Whilst it’s not clear how many families remain separated under the US administration, IFT encourages anyone with information that can be used to help reunite parents and their children to call 818-533-1975 or email info@ifteverylastone.org.

Image: Getty