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Facebook Fund for Immigrant Families Hits $5M in 4 Days

Facebook Fund for Immigrant Families Hits $5M in 4 Days
People wait outside the Tornillo-Marcelino Serna Port of Entry, where tents have been built to house unaccompanied migrant children on June 18, 2018 in Tornillo, Texas. (Christ Chavez/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 June 2018 03:17 PM

A California couple's Facebook fund raised $5 million in just four days to help undocumented immigrant families with educational and legal services.

Charlotte and Dave Willner originally started the campaign as a way to reunite immigrant parents with their children and had a goal of only $1,500. But after the idea went viral, they decided to use the funds for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a nonprofit organization based in Texas, according to CNN.

The couple had seen images of a teary-eyed and scared 2-year-old girl who had just crossed the Rio Grande with her mother and a group of people apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas.

“When we look at the faces of these children, we can’t help but see our own children’s faces,” Charlotte Willner told the San Jose Mercury News.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg were among the donors and urged others to contribute to the fund.

“I’ve donated to them and I encourage you to as well,” Zuckerberg posted on Facebook. He has been at odds with President Donald Trump over immigration policy, including building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

The Willners figured $4,000 was coming into the fundraiser every minute on Monday night when they surpassed $3 million. “It’s clearly resonating with a lot of people, and we’re just glad we could help,” Charlotte Willner told USA Today.

In a statement, the Willners noted they couldn’t be on the “frontlines” to help the immigrant families, “but by supporting RAICES, we’re able to do something that just takes less than a minute, and collectively have an impact.”

As part of the Trump administration’s crackdown on adults entering the U.S. illegally, any children cannot be held in detention centers, so they are separated from their parents. Nearly 2,000 children were separated in a six-week period, the Department of Homeland Security announced last week.

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A California couple's Facebook fund raised $5 million in just four days to help undocumented immigrant families with educational and legal services.
facebook, fund, immigrant, families
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2018-17-19
Tuesday, 19 June 2018 03:17 PM
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