Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are lending their star power to a group with little power of their own.
The couple announced Tuesday that they’re partnering with theYoung Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, a Chicago-based non-profit that advocates for immigrant children who arrive in the U.S. without their parents. The group aims to change immigration laws related to unaccompanied children and provide support for those children once they cross the border.
Lively and Reynoldshave launched a fund that will match any donation made to the Young Center, up to USD $1 million.
“Over the last few years, our perspective has grown and we’ve realized we have to do everything possible to foster more compassion and empathy in this world,” the couple said in a statement. “History’s being written right now. We’re grateful to give back to an organization who gives voice to so many.”
There are all kinds of reasons children arrive unaccompanied in the U.S. Parents desperate to flee war or extreme poverty might send their children alone because they think they may have a better chance of gaining permanent residence. Some children have lost their parents or are in the middle of cross-border custody battles. Some are so young they can’t even explain their presence in the country.
While the language Reynolds and Lively used wasn’t specifically political, the Young Center notes on its website that forcible family separation has surged under American president Donald Trump. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 5,400 children have been taken away from their parents since July of 2017.
In the spring of 2018, the U.S. government officially launched its “zero tolerance” policy against illegal immigration, which jailed anyone suspected of illegal border crossing. While their parents were detained, children would sometimes be placed in separate detention centres or in federally funded foster care, where many children experienced abuse.
The U.S. government never had the technology to track these separations, which meant it was often difficult — or in some cases, impossible — for families to reunite. The Office of Refugee Resettlement has said it would be a “burden” to track down all the children of detained adults.
In the summer of 2018, following mass outcry, Trump signed an order to end family separations. But over the next year, at least 900 more children were separated from their parents, according to the New York Times.
“The fallout, trauma and pain are unimaginable,” the Young Center’s founder Maria Woltjen wrote in last year’s annual report.
In addition to lobbying to change immigration laws, which don’t currently treat children any differently than adults, the organization has a Child Advocate Program that sees activists meet with migrant kids who are in federal custody once a week “to make sure they are not alone, their stories are heard and their safety and well-being is prioritized in immigration proceedings.”
Reynolds and Lively’s fund will support both the fight for government change and the attorneys, social workers, case workers and volunteers who are part of the Child Advocate Program.
The couple are parents themselves. While they stay relatively quiet about their family life, they reportedly welcomed their third child in late summer. They’re already parents to daughters James, 4, and Inez, 3.
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MINNEAPOLIS — Federal immigration officers have arrested a Guatemalan woman for illegally re-entering the U.S. after she was deported for causing a school bus crash that killed four children in southwestern Minnesota in 2008.
Deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 35-year-old Olga Franco del Cid at her home in Inver Grove Heights on Tuesday.
ICE officers received a tip that Franco del Cid had illegally re-entered the U.S. and returned to Minnesota.
Franco del Cid was convicted for crashing a minivan into a school bus near Cottonwood that killed four students. She was in the country illegally and claimed her boyfriend was driving.
After her conviction, Franco del Cid served eight years of her sentence and was deported after being released from state prison.
She remains in ICE custody. ICE officials say she is not currently eligible to be represented by an immigration attorney.
The Associated Press
Young person arrested in Sexual Assault Investigation, Alive Montessori and Private School, Wembley Road
The Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) would like to make the public aware of an arrest in a sexual assault investigation.
It is alleged that:
– On Monday, November 4, 2019, a young person sexually assaulted a child at Alive Montessori and Private School on Wembley Road.
On Monday, November 25, 2019, members of the CYAC arrested a boy from Toronto.
He was charged with:
1) Sexual Assault
2) Sexual Assault causing bodily harm
He was released from custody on an Undertaking.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday, January 7, 2020, in room 1, at Toronto Youth Court, located at 311 Jarvis Street.
***Please refer to Section 110, Subsection 1, of the YCJA:
110. (1) Subject to this section, no person shall publish the name of a young person, or any other information related to a young person, if it would identify the young person as a young person dealt with under this Act.***
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2922, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.
The CYAC was opened in October 2013 and is comprised of specialized child abuse investigators from the Toronto Police Service, in collaboration with members of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society, the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, the Hospital for Sick Children’s Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Program (SCAN), Radius Child & Youth Services, and Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre.
A sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration. To learn more about sexual assault, including how to report a sexual assault, please visit our Sex Crimes website.
For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.
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