Drew Barrymore is heartbroken right now, as are many Americans, about the way in which our government is handling migrants coming to the United States. On Tuesday morning, it seemed that she hit her breaking point, no longer able to stay silent as more and more reports emerged of children allegedly being separated from their parents at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Barrymore took to Instagram with an impassioned plea and ended up giving the most heart-wrenching argument in favor of keeping families together.
Posted alongside a photo of a little girl appearing to be wailing, Barrymore first defended her viewpoint as emotions coming straight from the heart of a mother and woman. “This image is the most upsetting thing a mother and a woman could ever see. There is a pull when you have a child. It is indescribable. But it is also the most powerful thing God and Nature give you as a woman,” she wrote.
Barrymore acknowledged what many people might be struggling with — an inability to wrap the mind around what’s happening and understand how we got here. “I cannot even look at this image. I wanted to avoid it just like a lot of people because the issues around it are so complicated,” she explained.
The topic she’s discussing has been the top news story for weeks, ever since late May when news broke that the government had allegedly lost track of nearly 1,500 kids that were in the immigration system. That turned the spotlight on the policy of taking children away from parents caught crossing the border without prior permission and the quality of care provided to the kids while they’re wards of the government.
Barrymore’s message urged readers to focus on the children and not devolve into argument or anger. She noted that she is a nonpartisan person and that her focus is on the children. “You have to pick your battles. Mine is kids,” her post read. She ended with a strong plea for readers to call their congresspeople and hashtagged the post #keepfamiliestogetheract.
Barrymore is far from the only celebrity who has spoken out during this major political upheaval. Padma Lakshmi wrote an opinion piece for CNN citing the statistic that, on average, 47 children are being separated from their parents every day. She also noted that the practice of taking children from parents was going on long before Donald Trump’s new zero-tolerance policy went into effect.
Other celebrities have taken to social media to voice their stance against the government's recently enacted policy.
This Father's Day, I hope that our President and his minions remember that children should be with their parents, not in detention centers https://t.co/pIhcR9ygI1
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) June 17, 2018
Immigrants are people who uproot their entire existence in search of better lives for themselves and their families. They just want what everybody wants. #IAmAnImmigrant
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) June 18, 2018
"I have no information about your child." Can you imagine hearing those words from a judge? https://t.co/jYecKXJvWP
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 17, 2018
— Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) June 17, 2018
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) June 14, 2018
IT IS TORTURE TO TAKE A BABY FROM HER OR HIS PARENTS. TORTURE FOR THE BABY AND FOR THE MOM AND DAD. AND WITH NO INFORMATION? NO TOYS? NO HUGS? IN CAGES? CRYING? NO ONE TO CHANGE DIAPERS? PURE CHILD ABUSE
— Chelsea Peretti (@chelseaperetti) June 19, 2018
We’re all heartbroken today as the news of the conditions these children are living in seems to get worse and worse. Like Barrymore says, whatever your convictions, it is the people’s right, and our job, to hold the government accountable. Call your congresspeople and remember to vote.