Ivanka Trump: Celebrities Instagram plea over family separation

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US President's Special Advisor and daughter Ivanka Trump attends a dinner with the US president and business leaders in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 7, 201 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ivanka Trump is often seen as a route to her father’s ear

Ivanka Trump has been inundated with an appeal from celebrities on Instagram, begging her to take action on the separation of migrant families at the border.

It comes after US officials separated more than 2,500 children from undocumented adults at the border with Mexico earlier this year, in a “zero tolerance” crackdown on illegal immigration.

The policy was suspended by Ms Trump’s father, President Donald Trump, last month after a fierce backlash.

However, hundreds of children remain separated from their parents – the focus of the posts.

So what does the appeal say?

The post reportedly originated with three women: Sarah Sophie Flicker, Paola Mendoza, and Alyssa Klein – described as “women’s march alums [alumni]” by website Bustle .

It didn’t take long for people like comedian Amy Schumer, television presenter Alexa Chung and GirlBoss founder Sophia Moruso – all of whom are followed by the “first daughter” – to pick up the baton and try to get Ms Trump’s attention.

The post addresses Ms Trump directly but what else does it say? Let’s break it down.

  • You said family separation was a “low point” for you. The low point is for the separated families. You spoke in past tense. This crisis is ongoing.

Ms Trump addressed the issue during an interview with the Axios news site last Thursday – the first time she had addressed the crisis in anything more than a tweet.

“That was a low point for me as well,” she said, according to CNN.

“I felt very strongly about that and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children so I would agree with that sentiment.”

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Media captionMigrant boys detained in a former Walmart in Texas

So Ms Trump did address it as a past-tense issue. But while her father signed an executive order 21 June which promised to “keep families together” in migrant detentions, the -issue is still affecting hundreds of families.

  • As of now 572 children have not been reunited…. Approximately 400 parents have been deported without their children.

The order did not address those families already separated by the policy,.

The Instagram post uses the government’s own figures, released the same day Ms Trump spoke, to illustrate how it is an ongoing issue.

  • …A child has died after separation… There have been multiple claims of sexual and physical abuse in detention. There have been psychotropic drugs administered to children in detention without parental consent.

Reports a child had died shortly after leaving an immigration detention facility in Texas emerged last week. However, it is unclear what exactly happened, news agency Associated Press reported.

There have also been reports of abuse taking place at the shelters caring for the children, although some of it is historic. A lawsuit alleging children were forcibly injected at one of the centres is currently going through the courts, according to The Texas Tribune.

But what has this got to do with Ivanka Trump?

Well, Ms Trump does act as a “special advisor” to her father, but does not have any special role regarding immigration.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ms Trump is known to be close to her father

However, it is widely believed Ms Trump is one of the few people who can influence her father.

In this case, those sharing the post want her to use that influence to ask him to fire Kirstjen Nielsen, who heads up homeland security – the department responsible for the policy.

Is the appeal likely to work?

Ms Trump did not immediately respond to the appeal on Instagram and it is unclear if she will have even seen the posts. Ms Trump follows 1,146 people on Instagram. What’s more, despite the page saying it is “personal”, there is a chance she might not even run it herself.

A similar push on social media in 2017 – this time focusing on protecting the “Dreamers”, young immigrants brought to the US illegally – also failed to reap any tangible rewards.

Far more likely to get her attention are the reams of newspaper headlines the campaign has generated.

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