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Supporting efforts to reunite, advocate for immigrant families

Separating parents and children at the border is wrong. So is imprisoning families.

Treating refugees as criminals has caused the crisis on our southern border. These policies traumatize children and parents, causing irreparable harm. This is inconsistent with our values as a nation – and must stop.

At Irvine we feel compelled to speak out and to act. Yesterday, our board allocated $1 million of new funding to support California-based efforts to reunite and advocate for the families being separated and imprisoned for seeking refuge in the U.S. (These funds are in addition to our ongoing grantmaking to protect immigrant rights – $6 million in 2018.)

It’s a privilege to be in a position to support the courageous and innovative nonprofit leaders tackling the enormous challenge of reuniting the 2,300 children already separated from their families, as well as advocating for families imprisoned under the new executive order.

Far more resources will be needed, and we’re grateful that other California funders will join this effort on top of our $1 million commitment. Those who have already expressed interest include the California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund, San Francisco Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Weingart Foundation, and Y & H Soda Foundation. If you are a funder and would like to join us, please email me:

Separating children from their families is wrong and represents America at its worst. The groundswell of voices protesting and creating change is America at our best. That gives me hope in these difficult times.