by WorldTribune Staff, June 22, 2018
Facebook has promoted its actions to stop fake news but allowed activists to use a misleading photo illustrating immigrant family separations to spark the largest crowdfunding event in the social media platform’s history this week.
Meanwhile, twice failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton helped raise over $1 million from an email appeal demanding the administration of President Donald Trump “stop treating these children and their parents like criminals.”
In its fundraiser called “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child,” Facebook asks users to donate money to RAICES, a charity described by USA Today as “a Texas nonprofit that helps families with legal advice and translation services.”
The donation page for the Facebook fundraiser uses a now-iconic photograph of a 2-year-old girl crying as her mother is searched by U.S. Border Patrol. The mainstream media presumed that the girl and her mother, from Honduras, were separated but the girl’s father has come forward to say the two were never separated and are currently together at a family residential facility in Texas.
As of June 21, the Facebook fundraiser had collected nearly $18 million, making it by far the largest crowdfunding event in Facebook’s history.
“Facebook says it is in the midst of a fight against ‘fake news,’ ” Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak noted in a June 21 report. “The photograph was still being used to advertise the fundraiser, with the clear implication that the crying child in the photograph had been separated from her parents.”
Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, 32, told the UK Daily Mail that his wife Sandra, 32, had taken their daughter, Yanela Denise, on a dangerous journey to the U.S. on June 3 without telling him. They had since been in touch, he said, and he learned the two had been detained together but never separated. Hernandez said his wife paid $6,000 to a “coyote” smuggler to take her to the U.S. border to seek better economic opportunities.
Pollak noted that the photograph, by John Moore of Getty Images, is real — and Getty only claimed that the mother and daughter had faced “possible separation.”
However, Pollak wrote, “the story the media and activists had woven around the image is not accurate.”
Meanwhile, Clinton said that “Since I reached out to ask this community to step up and support the groups working to protect and reunite families that have been separated at the border, you’ve raised more than $1 million dollars that will be split between the teams at the American Civil Liberties Union, the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Human Rights First, Kids in Need of Defense, La Union del Pueblo Entero, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, United We Dream Action, We Belong Together, and the Women’s Refugee Commission.”
Clinton, in an email message, urged supporters to hold protest rallies against Trump’s zero-tolerance policy.
“Right now, protests, marches, and other events are being organized across the country for Saturday, June 30th to demand our government stop treating these children and their parents like criminals – take a moment to find one near you, then say you’ll join millions of Americans in standing against this cruel practice.”
On June 20, Trump signed an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to keep families in custody together “during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members” at least “to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations.”