A handful of Hollywood stars, including Lena Dunham and Joshua Jackson, showed up in Tornillo, Texas on Sunday afternoon to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policy.
The protest, located near El Paso, Texas, also attracted director Rob Reiner and Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas.
A tent city on federal land at the Tornillo border crossing, which houses undocumented immigrant children, was the focus of many of the Hollywood stars who attended the protest.
The El Paso Times reported that demonstrators gathered as early as 9 a.m. Sunday morning, specifically to protest the administration’s purposeful attempt to separate children from their families, as their parents try to gain entry to the United States. Folks traveled from as far away as Alaska and Milwaukee to attend the rally, which lasted for several hours in the 90-degree Texas heat.
Rev. Gabriel Salguero, of Orlando, Fla., president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, began the rally with a prayer asking God to give others “boldness to speak loudly against this immoral and corrupt policy of separating families, of detaining children and detaining families.”
“This is an issue about what is right and what is wrong,” Castro said to the crowd. Protesters chanted “free the children now” and “people united will never be divided” during the rally.
Actress Lena Dunham held a sign that said “Keep families together.”
Celebs including Lena Dunham, Bella Thorne, Joshua Jackson, Amber Heard and Constance Wu protesting outside the Tornillo dentition center, next to where kids are sleeping in tents pic.twitter.com/sm8Fu06C8L
— Amber Jamieson (@ambiej) June 24, 2018
Reiner gave a speech lambasting the Trump administration and urging the crowd to vote if they’re frustrated. “He is stoking racism. He is hoping that the racists who support him will come out in November, but we’ve got news for him: We’re gonna come out in November, we’re all gonna be there, and we’re gonna stop this inhumane, disgraceful policy. We need you all to mobilize, we need you all to register and we need that blue wave, we need you to vote. Get out, get out, get out and vote!”
Civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, 88, invoked Cesar Chavez to encourage people to fast and donate food to undocumented immigrants trying to live in the United States. “Yes, it will make a difference because when we fast, as Cesar Chavez and Mahatma Gandhi and others have taught us, this is spiritual offering that we are doing,” Huerta said. She also blamed the United States for the fact that families are fleeing Central America and coming here, since “[W]e forget it was our United States of America that created the wars in Central America.”
Several town mayors gathered at the same location, the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry in Tornillo, on Thursday, to protest the same thing. On June 16, Congressman Will Hurd, who represents that area, toured the tents before they housed the children.
Last year, a local news channel reported that according to the port director at the time, traffic entering the location was relatively low, about 300,000 vehicles per year.