Amal and George Clooney have announced a donation of $100,000 to help the migrant children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border as a result of President Donald Trump's “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
The money, donated by the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ), will support the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago, a human-rights group that advocates for the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children.
The news comes after more than 2,300 children were taken from their parents in just six weeks, drawing condemnation from across the international community.
“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?” said the Clooneys in a joint statement.
“And when we answer yes, they’ll ask us what we did about it. What we said. Where we stood,” the statement said. “We can’t change this administration’s policy, but we can help defend the victims of it.”
The Young Center "serves as a trusted ally" for unaccompanied migrant children while they are in deportation proceedings, advocating for their best interests, and standing for the creation of a dedicated children's immigrant justice system that ensures the safety and well-being of every child, according to the CFJ statement.
Maria Woltjen, the executive director of the Young Center, added: “To treat children in such a cruel manner not only violates their legal rights but also their basic needs.”
“We are doing everything we can to advocate on behalf of the thousands of children who are separated and alone, and we are grateful for the generous support of George and Amal Clooney and the Clooney Foundation for Justice — it could not be more vital at this time,” she said.
The CFJ was established to advance justice in courtrooms, classrooms, and communities around the world, according to the statement.
Amal and George Clooney have already used their foundation to help tackle some of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time. Their work to date has included combatting hate groups; helping Syrian refugee children get an education; starting the TrialWatch initiative to monitor human rights violations; and sponsoring the resettlement of Syrian and Yazidi refugees in the United States.
They also donated $500,000 to the March for Our Lives after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, and attended an event in Washington to support the cause.
As the international pressure piled on President Trump, he signed an executive order on Wednesday reversing his own administration’s policy of separating families at the border. He has said that the executive order won’t change the administration’s “zero tolerance” police on prosecuting illegal immigration, which led to the separation of families.
He has also not addressed how families will be kept together, or how the thousands of children already taken from their parents will be reunited with their family members.
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