Clooneys open wallets as celebrities attack family separations

George Clooney (L) and his wife Amal -- shown here at the American Film Institute's 46th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to George Clooney on June 7 -- have donated $100,000 to the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights
AFP

New York (AFP) – George Clooney and John Legend have sent hefty donations to charity and Bruce Springsteen  interrupted his Broadway show to decry the border crisis as the entertainment world voiced outrage over the separation of migrant families at the US border.

Clooney and his lawyer wife Amal said that they were donating $100,000 to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, an organization based at the University of Chicago that provides legal counsel to unaccompanied children.

The Clooneys, whose foundation has funded eight schools in Lebanon for Syrian refugee children, said that while they could not change President Donald Trump’s policy, “we can help defend the victims of it.”

“At some point in the future, our children will ask us: is it true, did our country really take babies from their parents and put them in detention centers? And when we answer yes, they’ll ask us what we did about it,” the Clooneys said in a statement.

Pop singer Legend and his model wife Chrissy Teigen earlier said that they were donating $288,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union to support separated migrant children.

Springsteen, whose intimate show at the 960-seat Walter Kerr Theatre has become one of the most sought-after tickets on Broadway, has played the same set list for 146 concerts — until Tuesday.

The rock legend unexpectedly gave a speech from the stage before he sang “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” the title song from his 1995 album based on John Steinbeck’s classic novel “The Grapes of Wrath” about impoverished farmers from Oklahoma fleeing to California.

“We are seeing things right now on our American borders that are so shockingly and disgracefully inhumane and un-American that it is simply enraging,” Springsteen said.

“And we have heard people in high position in the American government blaspheme in the name of God and country that it is a moral thing to assault the children amongst us. May God save our souls,” he said.

He was likely referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an immigration hardliner who quoted a biblical verse on obeying the laws of the government to justify the separations.

More than 2,300 children have been taken away from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s policy to deter undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers.

But Trump said Wednesday that he wanted to keep families together and would sign an executive order in parallel with legislation passed by Congress.

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