*Moved by reports of immigrant children being separated from their families under the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, Ava DuVernay sought to make the issue more personal to her followers.
“I look at myself as a girl and imagine having to travel unsafely in a quest for safety,” the filmmaker wrote in a tweet showing a childhood photo of herself on Tuesday evening. “Be forcibly separated from my mother. Caged with people I don’t know and who don’t know me. Alone in a world I don’t understand. Imagine this for the child you were. We cannot allow this.”
I look at myself as a girl and imagine having to travel unsafely in a quest for safety. Be forcibly separated from my mother. Caged with people I don’t know and who don’t know me. Alone in a world I don’t understand. Imagine this for the child you were. We cannot allow this. pic.twitter.com/JIWOiWDXvu
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 20, 2018
The tweet soon inspired others to post their own childhood photos with stories of their family journeys. “Inspired by @ava: this is me & my mom. She immigrated alone in her late teens. This was the greatest sacrifice,” one user wrote.
“Here I am with my mom at my preschool graduation. I cried for three months straight every time she would drop me off because the thought of being away from her terrified me. I can’t imagine what these babies must be going through. It literally pains me,” another added.
View more below:
Inspired by @ava: this is me & my mom. She immigrated alone in her late teens. This was the greatest sacrifice. I can’t imagine not knowing where she is today when I’m 40. I would not have survived being torn from her at 4. #FamiliesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/uib731IEkg
— Carmen Rojas, PhD (@crojasphd) June 20, 2018
@Ava This is me & my mother when she MOVED us from the dangers of drugs & crime in DC to Seattle. I can’t imagine being RIPPED from her arms at that border! As a pediatrician I am disgusted & armed with real knowledge of the dangers facing these babies…this is horrific! pic.twitter.com/BS1A2azXEM
— Dr. Yolanda Lewis-Ragland (@DrYolandaMD) June 20, 2018
The Justice Department’s “Zero Tolerance” policy separates families who cross the U.S. border illegally in order to criminally prosecute the parents, while children are sent to shelters. Reporters who have seen the conditions of the shelters have recorded audio of crying children and video of cages where they are being held.
Since May, 2,342 children have been separated from their families, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.