Celebrities including Amy Schumer and Alexa Chung have launched a coordinated campaign urging Ivanka Trump to speak out against the effects of the Trump administration’s family separation policy and to call for the resignation of the secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Nielsen.
Last Thursday, the president’s daughter gave her view on the child separation policy adopted by the White House for the first time. While many have called the policy inhumane, Trump’s assessment was that it was more like a bad day at the office. Describing the policy as “a low point for me”, she added that she was “vehemently against family separation” but that immigration is “incredibly complex as a topic”.
Since then, celebrities who Trump follows on Instagram have been using their profiles to remind her that hundreds of children remain separated from their parents. An identical post has been shared by key figures in the fashion industry, including Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne, as well as comedian Amy Schumer and author Sophia Amoruso.
“Dear Ivanka, You follow me on social media,” the post begins. “You said family separation was a ‘low point’ for you. The low point is for the separated families. You spoke in past tense. This crisis is ongoing. As of now, 572 children have not been reunited. A child has died after separation.”
It goes on to demand that children be reunited and that Trump demand the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversaw the enforcement of the policy.
The campaign was organised by film director Paola Mendoza, actor Sarah Sophie Flicker and journalist Alyssa Klein – none of whom are followed by Trump. The trio have been campaigning together against child separation for months.
Flicker said they reached out to anyone they could get hold of on the list of 1,147 Instagram accounts Trump follows, but only a handful have posted the image so far – though to be fair, Trump’s following list is a varied bunch, including actor Gal Gadot, Republican senator Joni Erst and fellow White House daughter Charlotte Rose Pence. She also follows at least 50 Ivanka Trump fan accounts including “Ivanka is everything”, “Ivanka enthusiast” and “All things Ivanka”.
At the talk in Washington, Trump also invoked her own position as the “daughter of an immigrant” as evidence of her empathy, but told the audience that “we are a country of laws”, so she came to this country legally. While it’s true that Ivana Trump, her mother, only obtained a US visa after marrying Donald Trump, she left the former nation of Czechoslovakia by marrying a man she was not dating to obtain a visa. In divorce proceedings, Ivana Trump’s own lawyer said the “sole purpose” of the marriage was her coming to America.