Couple raises $10 million to help immigrant families in Facebook fundraiser

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 20, 2018

"We've been occasionally crying around the office all day when we check the fundraising totals", RAICES wrote in a Facebook post thanking the Willners.

The new target for the campaign, which started out at $1,500, is now $6 million.

If donations keep up at pace - $4,000 a minute at one point - the nonprofit is likely to take in more cash than it raised in all of 2016, according to its public financial records.

Politico earlier reported that Zuckerberg and his top lieutenant, COO Sheryl Sandberg, had donated to a fundraiser for RAICES that was created by two former Facebook employees.

"It's clearly resonating with a lot of people, and we're just glad we could help", Charlotte Willner told USA TODAY.

The money raised is being donated to Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES, ) a group that uses donations to pay bonds for illegal immigrants so that they can be reunited with their children.

"Our fundraising infrastructure is spartan. We have one development person on staff, which is me.and I'm also responsible for overseeing our shelter, volunteer operations, media, community outreach, and refugee resettlement", she said. "We're very much a boots on the ground kind of organization".

RAICES confirmed to CNN that the organization has been in contact with the couple since Saturday.

"In the last five months, we have a 314% increase in adults and children arriving at the border, fraudulently claiming to be a family unit", she said, later adding that those "are traffickers, those are smugglers". "This feels outrageously ambitious, but we kind of feel like this is the moment to do the big things".

His actions come on the heels of widespread outrage over the separation of migrant children from their parents by United States immigration officials, with media reports and recordings showing children detained in cages and crying for their families. A new crowdfunding effort that launched on Saturday, attempting to get parents out of detention and back to their children, asked donors to help them hit their goal of $1,500.

"Regardless of political party, so many of us are distraught over children being separated from their parents at the border", the Willners said in a statement. "In times when we often think that the news can't possibly get worse, it does-we learned last night that 2000 children (many of them infants and toddlers) have been separated from their parents in just six weeks under President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions forcefully rebuked critics who fault the Trump administration for the separation of illegal immigrant families at the border, saying that the Obama administration's policies are partially to blame.

An eight-minute, secretly-recorded audio recording released by ProPublica on Monday of children crying and pleading for their parents is equally heart-wrenching.

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