What’s happening at the border is a crisis. Not the kind that those hankering for a wall would have you believe, but a humanitarian one. This was clear to America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, Eva Longoria and Wilmer Valderrama who, among other actors, storytellers, and activists, got to visit a shelter in Tijuana on International Women’s Day. The trip was organized by the nonprofit advocacy group Families Belong Together along with Ferrera and Valderrama’s I Will Harness, with the goal of educating those visiting the shelter about the current asylum-seeking process. Recent changes in the process (the “Remain in Mexico” policy) have left hundreds of migrants stranded in Mexico as they await the chance to apply, often after a harrowing journey from Central America.
Moreover, U.S. border agents process only a handful of asylum requests a day, which has created a backlog of applications and overcrowding in shelters by the border. Groups like Espacio Migrante, which hosted the Hollywood artists in Tijuana, work toward supporting migrants, refugees, and deportees in the area of Tijuana and San Diego.
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This is NOT a political debate. It’s purely a conversation of people being there for people.. the humanitarian crises in the border is a call we have to answer.. we HAVE to understand that this is beyond our differences.. you have the right to believe and stand for what your heart feels. But being there for another human, in their moment of desperation.. it’s what we as people do with honor. Our brothers and sisters have basic needs, that while they wait the faith of their sacrifice.. would at least help them survive the many trials that come with their journey and fight for living a better life, no matter where that is.. @iwillharness and @fams2gether partnered to visit and witness one of the shelters that help those seeking a better life, a life that in many of their cases are not guaranteed in their countries.. #HarnessBeyondBorders To know more on how you can help or donate, here below are some of the orgs doing the work on the ground!: FamiliesBelongTogether.org EspacioMigrante.org AlOtroLado.Org
“It is easy for me to look at these human beings and see myself,” said Ferrera, who’s been an outspoken immigration advocate, in an interview with the Associated Press. “This could very easily have been my reality in this lifetime.” Her family, after all, came to the U.S. from Honduras. The actors brought much-needed resources and got a chance to talk with those in the shelter about their experience getting to the border, making the crisis feel all the more urgent. In many of their social media posts recounting their trip, the Hollywood stars stressed how what they saw went beyond party lines. “This is NOT a political debate,” Valderrama wrote on Instagram. “It’s purely a conversation of people being there for people… the humanitarian crises in the border is a call we have to answer.”
“As a nation,” Ferrera added on Instagram, “we need to cut through the political fighting and reconnect to our humanity. What our government does, they do in our name.” She then asked her followers to sign the Reject the Trump Administration’s Cruel ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy petition.
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Yesterday in Tijuana, we witnessed in person the humanitarian crisis at the border. Mothers and their children seeking safety and their international human right to asylum at our border, but instead being made more vulnerable by the senseless & illegal policies of this administration. In spite of it all, these families remain resilient and hopeful, and their children continue to shine their joyful lights brightly. As a nation, we need to cut through the political fighting and reconnect to our humanity. What our government does, they do in our name. You can stand with these families by donating to the INCREDIBLE work that Families Belong Together is doing on the ground with these families, and by signing the @fams2gether’s petition to block the “Remain in Mexico” policy. (Link in bio) #SupportingFamilies #harnessbeyondborders @iwillharness phots by @ari.mejorado