Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg are taking a stand against the separation of children from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border, donating to an online campaign aimed at reuniting these families.
The campaign, which was launched on Saturday by two former Facebook staffers, Charlotte and Dave Willner, set an initial goal of raising $1,500 for the Texas-based Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services—enough to post bond for one parent to help them reunite with their children. By early Tuesday, however, the campaign had raised well over $3.8 million from more than 92,000 people, and the goal had been raised to $5 million.
“We are collectively revulsed at what’s happening to immigrant families on our southern border,” wrote the Willners on their Facebook fundraising page. “In times when we often think that the news can’t possibly get worse, it does—we learned last night that 2000 children (many of them infants and toddlers) have been separated from their parents in just six weeks under President Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy.”
Expressing little optimism that a political solution to the administration’s immigration policy would be found before the November election, the Willners noted that they had therefore decided to take an alternate approach. By raising funds for RAICES, which has the dual goal of directly funding the bonds for detained parents, and ensuring legal representation for every child in Texas’ immigration courts, they hope to reunite immigrant families while the parents await court proceedings.