George and Amal Clooney Donate $100,000 to Help Migrant Children Separated from Families
George and Amal Clooney are weighing in on the migrant children crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border — and doing their part to help the separated families
One year after welcoming twins Ella and Alexander, the couple reflected on how their son and daughter will react when they learn about how children were taken from their parents who are caught illegally crossing the border.
“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?’ And when we answer yes, they’ll ask us what we did about it. What we said. Where we stood,” the Clooneys said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. “We can’t change this administration’s policy but we can help defend the victims of it.”
They added, “Today, the Clooney Foundation for Justice will donate $100,000 to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.”
The Clooney Foundation has also sponsored the resettlement of Syrian and Yazidi refugees in the U.S.
The Young Center’s Executive Director, Maria Woltjen, thanked the couple for their support during this “vital” time.
“This Administration’s policy disregards international law and basic principles of human decency. To treat children in such a cruel manner not only violates their legal rights but also their basic needs,” she said in a statement. “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.”
The Clooneys join a number of other stars who have blasted the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, which prosecutes undocumented immigrants who cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Since implementing the policy, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents since April, according to the Associated Press.
After House Speaker Paul Ryan shared a Father’s Day post on Twitter talking about how his life changed when he became a dad, John Legend shot back, “Seriously, f— you. Reunite the families at the border and we can talk about father’s day.”
The tweet came days after Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, announced they were making a $288K donation to the ACLU on President Trump’s birthday to draw attention to the “immigrant families seeking asylum and refuge in America being ripped apart due to the inhumane policies of the Trump administration.”
Kathy Griffin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Reese Witherspoon, Ellen DeGeneres and more celebrities also spoke out against the current conditions.
In her first public commentary about President Trump and his administration, former First Lady Laura Bush wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post that was published on Father’s Day and criticized the immigration policies.
“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” Mrs. Bush wrote.
In another surprising move, current First Lady Melania Trump released a statement about her husband’s controversial immigration policy.
“Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families,” her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told PEOPLE.
Grisham added that her boss is calling on Democrats and Republicans to fix the nation’s immigration crisis.
“[She] hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” Grisham said, adding that Mrs. Trump “believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”