Actress and singer Selena Gomez has joined the chorus of voices condemning the treatment of children in migrant detention centers at southern U.S. border. Gomez, who is of Mexican American heritage and was born in Texas, may feel close to the issue.
Gomez, who also recently took a stand for abortion rights, wrote in a plea on Instagram Saturday, accompanied by a black and white photo, “Kids in cages! Sleeping on concrete floors with aluminum blankets! No access to simple dignities! How is this still happening??? It’s absolutely inhumane to treat anyone like this let alone children. I can’t even imagine what they are going through. We need to get this to finally stop! Don’t stay silent on this human rights issue- please call your reps 202.224.3121.”
Her fans’ responses were mixed — some took issue with her photo selection, with one commenting, “So maybe put a picture of them instead of your pretty face to show what’s actually happening. You’re privileged. They’re not.”
Still others blamed the previous administration, saying, “You are right, but this started with Obama and has been going on for years now and he did absolutely nothing to fix it! Where was the outrage then??!!”
The majority were supportive however, applauding Gomez for taking a stand.
One wrote, “A women with power that knows how to use it for better change is also called a queen. I stan.”
“THIS is exactly how you’re supposed to use your platform for stuff that matter, thank u queen,” wrote another.
Over the past week, more reports have surfaced of inhumane conditions at the government’s migrant detention facilities, and more people – including Star Trek star George Takei, who was detained as a child in a Japanese American internment camp during World War 2 – have spoken out against children being housed in these conditions.
Dolly Lucio Sevier, a physician, and a group of lawyers recently visited border facilities in two Texas cities. In an assessment obtained by ABC News, Lucio Sevier wrote that “the conditions within which they are held could be compared to torture facilities.” Lucio Sevier was granted access after lawyers expressed concern about a flu outbreak in the McAllen facility.
The doctor described the conditions as “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.” Mothers of infants said the camps lacked facilities for washing bottles. Lucio Sevier said the conditions were “tantamount to intentionally causing the spread of disease.”