A lot is said about the situation at the southern border, about undocumented immigrants and people seeking asylum. The images and stories we see from Mexico, from the border, and Tijuana, from all sorts of sources spread like wildfire on the internet. Is it all real? What is the actual truth about what’s going on at the border?
America Ferrera wanted to see for herself. Over the weekend, the actress and social justice activist took a team of friends, family, colleagues, and humanitarian advocates to Tijuana to meet the people who are desperately seeking a better life. Ferrera, alongside her husband Ryan Piers Williams, Eva Longoria, Wilmer Valderrama, Kerry Washington, Gina Rodriguez, Kendrick Sampson, and Roselyn Sanchez, visited a shelter that is helping to support families seeking asylum in the U.S.
“Yesterday in Tijuana, we witnessed in person the humanitarian crisis at the border. Mothers and their children seeking safety and their international human right to asylum at our border, but instead being made more vulnerable by the senseless and illegal policies of this administration,” Ferrera wrote on Instagram. “In spite of it all, these families remain resilient and hopeful, and their children continue to shine their joyful lights brightly. As a nation, we need to cut through the political fighting and reconnect to our humanity. What our government does, they do in our name. You can stand with these families by donating to the INCREDIBLE work that Families Belong Together is doing on the ground with these families, and by signing the @fams2gether’s petition to block the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.”
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Ferrera said, that as a child of Honduran parents, she too could have been in the shoes of the thousands that are seeking asylum.
“It is easy for me to look at these human beings and see myself,” Ferrera told the publication. “This could very easily have been my reality in this lifetime.” She went on to say “How dire would my situation have to be to grab this brand-new child and walk for a month, with no access to clean water and food, not knowing what I would meet along the way, to try and seek asylum and safety and refuge because my situation was so bad?”
The group teamed up with Families Belong Together, which is made up of 50 organizations “representing Americans from all backgrounds who have joined together to fight family separation and promote dignity, unity, and compassion for all children and families.” The advocates brought bags of supplies and food to the people living in the shelter.
“Thank you so much to @fams2gether & @iwillharness for organizing a trip to the border at Tijuana yesterday to see how asylum seekers are being treated firsthand,” Longoria wrote on Instagram. “As a mother, it was heartbreaking to see how poorly we are treating refugee families. We MUST demand better for these families. We need to take action and create change to fix the broken asylum system. “