The Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border has sparked a massive public outcry. As images and video of children in wire cages at detention centers circulate online, and heartbreaking stories of migrant parents being separated from their children are shared, the outrage continues to grow. Among the leading voices vehemently opposing the cruel zero-tolerance policy is film director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay.
On Monday, June 19, the Queen Sugar creator tweeted a photo of herself as a young girl with this powerful statement:
“I look at myself as a girl and imagine having to travel unsafely in a quest for safety. Be forcibly separated from my mother. Caged with people I don’t know and who don’t know me. Alone in a world I don’t understand. Imagine this for the child you were. We cannot allow this.”
Immediately following DuVernay’s tweet, other asylym-seekers and immigrants posted their stories and photos.
DuVernay isn’t the only big-name critic advocating against the immigration policy, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen lambasted the president on June 14, calling for an end to the policy and donating $288,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). DuVernay’s frequent film collaborator, rapper and actor Common, also shared a James Baldwin quote on Twitter to denounce the migrant children policy.
Amid all the criticism and backlash from both sides of the aisle, Donald Trump continues to double down on his child separation policy, while placing much of the blame on the Democrats.
“The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said during a speech at the White House on Monday, June 18.
Trump echoed the harsh sentiment on Tuesday, June 19, at the National Federation of Independent Business, stating, “When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away."