'My Name is Mirian': Hollywood celebs read a letter by a detained migrant mother
The team behind This Boy's Vida believe all people deserve safety, freedom and happiness --not just those born into a country where those things come a little easier. America has always been beacon of hope for those experiencing violence and poverty in their home countries, but recently we've been treating migrants worse than what they experienced before coming here.
Thousands of migrants seeking asylum have been separated from their families, and a week after the court-ordered deadline to reunite children with their parents, 1 in 3 children still remain separated.
On July 11th, 2018, a video titled "My Name is Mirian" was released on the web and social media. The emotional video shows over 30 Hollywood A-listers reading a letter written by Mirian, a Honduran woman who was detained at the border in Texas and separated from her 18-month-old son for three months.
In the video, created by Maggie Gyllenhaal and produced by the ACLU, the celebrities voices weave in and out as they read aloud Mirian's explanation for seeking asylum in America.
"I brought my son to the United States so that we could seek protection from violence in Honduras," actor Lena Waithe says, reading Mirian's letter. "We fled Honduras after the military tear-gased our home."
The letter describes the chaos Mirian experienced when her son was taken from her and the extreme difficulty when trying to contact him over those four months. Several of the celebs' voices cracked and wavered when describing Mirian's terror, some wiped away tears.
James Franco explains how US officials took a statement from Mirian about why she came to the country.
"The US officers then told me that they were taking my son from me," actor Jamie Lee Curtis reads. When Mirian asked officers why she and her son were being separated, the actors repeat one after another that "they did not provide any reason."
Actor Thandie Newton describes how Mirian says she was "going crazy wondering" what had happened with her son.
In May, Mirian wrote an op-ed piece for CNN detailing her harrowing experience crossing the border, being detained, and having her son separated from her for three months.
"I never could have imagined they would take him away from me," she wrote in her piece for CNN. "But soon I discovered how the US immigration system truly works."
In her own words, she describes how officers never told her why her son was being taken away and didn't let her say goodbye to him after she strapped him into the car seat. They slammed the car door and she heard her son screaming as they drove off.
Mirian was released in April after a judge found her asylum claim credible. She was reunited with her son a month later.
"I am proof that parents who are legally seeking asylum are being separated from their children for seemingly no reason," Mirian wrote. "My heart goes out to the other mothers who are still aching for their children."
All of us here at This Boy's Vida are working towards creating a country that welcomes people of all nations, colors, religions, genders and sexual orientation by creating a story that raises public awareness of the struggles immigrants and their children are forced to bear because of discrimination and outdated, unjust laws.