Madonna, Katy Perry, Pink & More Get Real About Trump's Child Detention Policy: 'Keep the Kids, Deport the Racists'
Despite a reversal by the Trump administration on Wednesday (June 20) over its widely reviled child detention policy, many artists took to Twitter on World Refugee Day to express their anger over the separation of thousands of immigrant families at the U.S. border. The detention of the children as part of the administration's "zero tolerance" policy had drawn widespread condemnation from a bipartisan group of congress members, as well as former First Ladies, the United Nations, child welfare advocates and many members of the clergy.
Trump initially said he was unable to reverse the policy, the latest falsehood spread by the administration, which blamed the unpopular actions on non-existent U.S. laws, phantom court rulings and the intransigence of rival Democrats, whom they erroneously claimed forced them to detain more than 2,000 children away from their parents at border crossings inside temporary facilities around the nation.
But after growing anger and outrage at the images of weeping children forced from their mother's arms and pictures of prison-like camps, Trump bowed to pressure on Wednesday and signed an executive order that the White House says will keep families together regarding those crossing the into the U.S. illegally.
With more than 2,300 children being detained at last count -- some behind chain-link fences in cages that have been compared to Holocaust-like concentration camps -- a number of artists spoke out in the strongest possible terms on Wednesday's World Refugee Day to condemn the practice and encourage Americans to raise their voices.
One of the most blunt commentaries came from Madonna, who posted the simple message "Keep the Kids, Deport the Racists," along with the viral hashtag #keepfamiliestogether. P!nk took a more global approach by reminding her followers that "the scale of the child refugee crisis is staggering. This #WorldRefugeeDay, children forced from their homes need our help now more than ever."
Katy Perry's message was plain and simple, appealing to the one common human trait we all share. "Never forget, everyone was once a child." But perhaps T.I. summed up the feeling so many people had when Trump patted himself on the back and said "you're going to have a lot of happy people" when he signed Wednesday's order fixing the political and humanitarian nightmare of his own making. "Ain't nobody finna priase your Goofy ass for undoing what you shouldn't have done in da first place," he wrote alongside an image of a man giving the finger to Trump Tower.
Miley Cyrus posted a statement from the ACLU praising the intense pressure that forced Trump's hand. "Kids should not have been separated from their parents in the first place and they still don't belong in jail," the organization wrote. "His alleged solution to a crisis of his own making is many months too late."
But perhaps the strongest advocate for the children and the backlash against the policy was on-hiatus Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregui, who has used her platform to speak out on everything from gun violence to immigrant issues over the past year. In addition to alerting her followers to what they can do to help the families who are being separated, Jauregui also pointed out that the fix to Trump's problem is almost as toxic as the original.
"On top of the fact that now the families can be detained together INDEFINITELY. We need to wake the fuck up. This is fascist America and it's been happening for longer than we even think," she tweeted in reaction to activist Shaun King's revulsion at First Daughter Ivanka Trump's much-mocked tweet thanking her father for taking "critical action" to end the original policy. She went on to dub the current administration "blatant fascists," asking when those in power will "stop playing political games with INNOCENT lives," noting that this administration isn't the only one complicit in the painfully marginalizing policies of the past.
If you're interested in assisting the families impacted by the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policies, you can check out charities including RAICES Texas, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, all of which provide legal services, representation and other resources to immigrants, refugees, unaccompanied children and separated families.
See the artists' tweets below.
The scale of the child refugee crisis is staggering. This #WorldRefugeeDay, children forced from their homes need our help now more than ever: https://t.co/9ARmJOXGPN #AChildIsAChild @UNICEFUSA pic.twitter.com/MGc9N0PWxf— P!nk (@Pink) June 21, 2018
Never forget, everyone was once a child.— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) June 21, 2018
---- Ain’t nobody finna praise your Goofy ass for undoing what you shouldn’t have done in da first place...Maaaan Get them damn babies back to their families -- pic.twitter.com/TreCun6Xur— T.I. (@Tip) June 21, 2018
If you’re angry about what going on with these children here’s some fact reading and ways to help in the mean time of US the PEOPLE fixing this fucking mess. https://t.co/ZO10tfgm3X— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) June 20, 2018
On top of the fact that now the families can be detained together INDEFINITELY. We need to wake the fuck up. This is fascist America and it’s been happening for longer than we even think. https://t.co/FaBgT7PM8x— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) June 20, 2018
I’m ready as fuck for those in power to stop playing political games with INNOCENT lives. Children and adults included. There are millions displaced, and millions more trafficked, and millions more dead. When do your wars end?!???? @ANYBODY— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) June 21, 2018
Also because I see a lot of people talking about this administration. This administration definitely went blatant fascist on these latest policies but make no mistake, these centers have been around for longer than trump has been president and they are the very foundation of— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) June 21, 2018
This country since it’s confiscation from the First Nation people. The Japanese internment camps, the ghettos, the prison industrial complex, all of the different things the US government has disguised with nice words and endless “policies”. We need to acknowledge our roots— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) June 21, 2018
Before we can actually permanently solve any of these problems.— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) June 21, 2018