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Joaquin Phoenix & Rooney Mara Break Silence On Having Their First Child In Moving Op-Ed About Immigration

joaquin phoenix and rooney mara pen powerful op-ed about family separation

Becoming a new parent should be a joyful time — but in the era of coronavirus, with a president as dangerous as Donald Trump, there are so many fears and anxieties to be considered when bringing a child into the world.

Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara seem to have the same anxieties most of us do following the birth of their son River, but they’re using their platform to channel fears about our country’s future into something positive.

Related: Jared Kushner Slammed For Saying Trump Can Only Help Black People If They ‘Want To Be Successful’

On the eve of Election Day, the engaged couple wrote a powerful op-ed for People condemning the Trump Administration’s separation of children from their parents at the border.

They wrote:

“Last week, we learned that the parents of 545 children separated at the border by immigration officers have not yet been found. The weight of that number is staggering. Five hundred forty-five children.”

They continued by acknowledging the issue has become less pressing in the media — presumably due to people getting used to it, as awful as it is.

But for them it’s still very much at the fore — because, as they finally confirmed, they just had a child of their own, making this even more unimaginable to them:

“As new parents, it’s unbearable to imagine what it would feel like to have our child taken away from us for a day, let alone years. But that’s the very situation those 545 children and their parents have been living through. As Americans, it’s our responsibility to continue paying attention to the plight of these families and get answers for why they still have not been located.”

The Oscar winner and his Mary Magdalene co-star outlined the horrific policy and how it’s meant to be a “deterrent” — that sending asylum seekers back to their countries (where they may have run from dangerous or life threatening circumstances) would “spread the message: If you come to America, they will take your children from you.”

They explained:

“For the children who remain separated from their parents, the damage will be lifelong. Child psychologists say that even short periods of forced removal from the care of a parent can cause irreparable emotional harm. Some of these children are no more than toddlers or have yet to reach their 10th birthday. Our hearts break to think about the suffering they’ve endured at our country’s hands.”

Heartbreaking is right.

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The op-ed concluded:

“We have to ask ourselves: Is this the country that we want? Are these our values? How will it feel to explain to our son, when he asks us about this time and how we treated scared, defenseless children, some of whom may never see their parents again? For the sake of our nation’s character, I hope we will be able to tell him that America unequivocally rejected this cruelty and demanded that our representatives did everything in their power to find those missing parents.”

Wow. What a powerful message to send before people head to the voting booths. This is one of the most painful and terrible actions of the Trump administration — we hope there are voters out there who take these words to heart.

[Image via WENN/Instar]

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Nov 03, 2020 07:00am PDT