How a viral tweet is helping unite many immigrant children separated from their families in the US

Frequent flyers are now donating their amassed air-miles so that many separated children can be flown to any part of the world. After one woman tweeted about this simple way for reunions, organisation has collected over five million air-miles!

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Published: August 10, 2018 6:25:03 pm
A mother reunited with her son in Guatemala after she was deported while he remained in a shelter in New York. (Representational image/ AP)

Thanks to a viral tweet, hundreds of people have found a simple way to reunite immigrant children and parents separated due to Donald Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy. Many in the US are now donating their air miles so that airlines can fly these children to their parents.

Jeff Wilensky heard about a three-year-old immigrant child and his father in need of a flight from Ann Arbor, Michigan where he was detained, and he didn’t know how he could help. He soon found that he could use all the miles collected from his frequent flying to help the family in distress – at no extra cost to him. He donated the miles and it ended on a happy note.

His wife, Beth Wilensky, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, shared the story on Twitter and it quickly went viral.

The couple had donated their air-miles to the Michigan Support Circle, a group working to reunify families. The group joined hands with Miles 4 Migrants, a group that reunites refugees around the world with family they’d been separated from because of conflict and persecution simply but collecting air-miles and utilising it to help such families.

“At last count, we have commitments from about 175 volunteers,” Rosaline Lochner, Michigan Support Circle’s founder told Business Insider after the tweet went viral. “Before Beth’s tweet started to spread, we had around 8-10.”

With over 1.38 likes and 31,000 retweets, her tweet helped the Miles 4 Migrants organisation has now collected over 5 million air-miles! “With your support, we can book 250+ flights for families both domestically in the US and internationally and give children a better chance towards a stable future,” the group said on their website.

The draconian law has separated nearly 3,000 children from their parents at the US-Mexico border A US court intervened after a petition was filed, and ordered that all children must be reunited with their parents and issued a 30-day deadline. And even as the deadline ended on July 26, over 500 kids are still separated from their parents.

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