Mexico brightened on Saturday, March 9 as a dreamy team of Hollywood’s brightest stars arrived in Tijuana. Joined by leaders of the Families Belong Together organization, America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, Gina Rodriguez (who had the support of love Joe Locicero), Roselyn Sanchez, Wilmer Valderrama, Kendrick Sampson, Ryan Piers Williams, Angela Robinson and Paola Mendoza used their star power to elicit change. The group met with families and children seeking asylum in the United States, making several inspiring stops throughout the day.
Star power + Families Belong Together = Positive Change! Photo: Arlene Mejorado
Intent on witnessing the immediate reality facing asylum seekers, the squad of stars started their journey at a local shelter, Espacio Migrante family shelter, which is adjacent to US Border Corssing. There, they spent time with over 20 children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and received a detailed overview of current conditions from shelter leadership and residents. Families from shelters Roca and Camino de salvación also congregated.
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The delegation participated in activities with children at the shelter, including: distributing Coloring Without Borders coloring books, speaking with women participating in female empowerment workshops and helped distribute supply packs provided by Baby2Baby. An onlooker tells HOLA! USA: They were listeners and really spent the day asking questions to better understand the circumstances.
Eva Longoria was among the stars on the trip Photo: Arlene Mejorado
After leaving the shelter, they visited a Border Crossing to observe the asylum turn-in process. The last stop was an intimate discussion with three refugees, Mexican asylum attorneys Nicole Ramos from Al Otro Lado and Lindsay Toczylowski from Immigrant Defenders Law Center, and local program directors from Families Belong Together.
Wilmer, America, Gina and her boyfriend Joe at the shelter Photo: Arlene Mejorado
This important mission trip was organized and hosted by Families Belong Together and is part of the ongoing activism efforts of Harness, an organization co-founded by America, Ryan and Wilmer to engage their fellow artists in social change.
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On the way home, Roselyn took to her Instagram Story to sum up her feelings, speaking directly into her camera: “This is pretty surreal guys, we just spent all day in Tijuana Mexico… This experience was incredible, we learned so much about the immigration process.” Kerry seemed to be in complete agreement, calling it "an eye opening & heart breaking experience" on her own Instagram.
Click here for more on the inspiring work of Families Belong Together.