To help put pressure on the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the U.S. border with Mexico, Maggie Gyllenhaal called on her celebrity friends to star in a video telling the chilling story of a mother separated from her son.
The video was shared on YouTube by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), showing A-listers of varying ages and races reading an affidavit written by a Honduran woman named Mirian, who was forced to hand over her son to authorities after crossing the border into Texas in February. “I brought my son to the United States so we could seek protection from violence in Honduras,” Mirian’s letter said. “We fled Honduras, after the military tear-gassed our home.”
This is a video I made. An affidavit from a woman who’s 18 month old son was taken from her at the border. Read by #RyanReynolds @chadwickboseman @jamieleecurtis #MyBrother @methodman @TheJeffBridges and many many many more… Watch #MyNameIsMirian here: https://t.co/LtnQ2m6qHR
— Maggie Gyllenhaal (@mgyllenhaal) July 10, 2018
Celebrities including Chadwick Bozeman, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Lena Waithe, Ilana Glaser, Amy Schumer, and Riz Ahmed continue reading the letter, which goes on to describe the moment that Mirian’s son was taken away from her. “The immigration officers made me walk out with my son to a government vehicle and place my son in a carseat. My son was crying as I put him in the seat,” they read. “I did not even have a chance to comfort my son, because the officers slammed the door shut as soon as they put him in.”
Mirian’s letter then goes on to note how she was taken to a detention center where she found that she couldn’t eat or sleep out of concern for her son. Finally, she was able to contact a caseworker who told her that her son cried “all the time” after he was separated from his mother. Now, two months later, he’s been forced to adjust. “The caseworker said my son is doing a little better but also has an ear infection and a cough,” the letter states. “I need to be able to hold him and reassure him that he is safe and that his mother is here for him.”
The video ends with more celebrities, including Aubrey Plaza and Glen Close, reading the first line, “My name is Mirian.” Using that hashtag, many of those involved in the video have begun sharing it on Twitter to publicize the plight of these migrants.
What if Mirian were your child??? No child should ever be separated from their family. Take action so stories like Mirian’s never happen again!! #FamiliesBelongTogether. Donate to @ACLU & learn more HERE: https://t.co/RoGKUVD2Lp Watch #MyNameIsMirian here: https://t.co/Pd3EmXhMA2
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) July 10, 2018
#FamiliesBelongTogether. Help us fight to reunite thousands of children with their parents so stories like Mirian’s never happen again. Donate to @ACLU and learn more: https://t.co/RrBIoUrbys #MyNameIsMirian https://t.co/TUiDjn9wOt
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) July 10, 2018
— Miguel (@Miguel) July 10, 2018
As a result of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, an estimated 2,700 children have been separated from their families at the border since October. When news broke that some of those separated were so young that they required being held at “tender age facilities,” the public began to demand that the president take action. On June 20, Trump signed an executive order putting an end to the practice of separating families and vowed to reunite those who have already been split up.
But as the ACLU pointed out, the order failed to outline a plan for how the families would logistically be brought back together, leaving their fates in limbo. In response, a federal judge issued an order on June 29 mandating that Trump reunite families within 14 days (and children under 5 within 10). A week and a half later, there is little evidence that this is under way.
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