Culture

Celebrities Wish Immigrants 'Love' on Valentine's Day

Twitter screenshot, singer Katy Perry holds up a "To Immigrants With Love" sign at the Women's March.

This Valentine’s Day, two non-profit organizations partnered to launch a new campaign, #ToImmigrantsWithLove, to encourage immigrant communities and (perhaps) to shame President Donald Trump. Many celebrities embraced the movement, sharing their support for immigrant communities on Twitter.

“I dig it !!!” Hip hop artist M.C. Hammer posted on Twitter, including the #ToImmigrantsWithLove hashtag, and retweeting the Emerson Collective’s message connecting the campaign to Valentine’s Day.

The Twitter account Trendinalia USA reported that M.C. Hammer’s tweet was the most influential for the hashtag.

https://twitter.com/trendinaliaUS/status/831540669608914944

The campaign, launched by immigrant advocacy groups Define American and Welcome.us, asks people to write letters to immigrant friends, neighbors, classmates, and coworkers in a show of solidarity and to share their letters on social media. While the support for immigrants need not be political, this campaign comes at a tense time when President Donald Trump’s immigration order has been harshly criticized by many different groups as a “Muslim ban,” and has been (arguably unlawfully) held up in court, despite polls showing widespread support.

Define American posted a video on Facebook documenting the protests against Trump’s order, saying “it is wonderful to see” people opposing it.

Muslim Ban Protesters Define American

If you show up for Muslims in times of fear and persecution, you define American. Visit defineamerican.com

Posted by Define American on Sunday, January 29, 2017

F. Frederic (Ric) Fouad, an attorney and adjunct professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law (Japan campus), made the campaign explicitly political. “Best #ToImmigrantsWithLove? Judge Brinkema smacking Trump silly for violating #FirstAmendment & lying about it,” Fouad wrote.

Most tweets were not explicitly political. Estelle Fanta Swaray, known popularly as “Estelle,” a singer and voice actress known for the television show Steven Universe (2013-2017), tweeted, “ToImmigrantsWithLove – ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ to those who left their Loves to come to another country and get it going for the better.”

Pop star Katy Perry posed for a photo with the “To Immigrants With Love” banner, back at the “Women’s March” earlier this year. Define American shared her photo, and those of other stars, on Valentine’s Day.

The organization also shared a photo with Shannon Woodward and Evan Rachel Wood, stars from the television show Westworld (2016).

Oh, and here’s Amy Schumer.

And Julianne Moore (known for The Big Lebowski 1998).

George Takei, famous for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, who backed up J.K. Rowling when she mocked Piers Morgan for refusing to compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, also chimed in. Takei posted a photo of his parents, saying, “My father was an immigrant and my mother’s parents, too. Immigration made this nation strong and will keep it strong.”

 

Romance author Mia Hopkins also posted a photo of her parents, saying, “Happy #ValentinesDay to my parents, whose smarts, good humor & grit built a home for us in the USA. Thank you. #ToImmigrantsWithLove”

Paul Wesley, an actor best known for his role in the television series The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017), renamed Valentine’s Day “#ToImmigrantsWithLove day.” He added, “Sending appreciation and love to all immigrants!” Wesley also posted a video he filmed a few years ago, focusing on his Polish immigrant heritage.

Aasif Mandvi, an actor best known for his role in Spiderman 2 (2004), took a photo with a “To Immigrants With Love” banner.

Kendrick Sampson, an actor known for his role in the television show How To Get Away With Murder (2015-2016), joined the bandwagon as well. He tweeted, “To all my immigrant friends/family: I love you & pledge to stand by you. You make this country & my life better.”

Naturally, liberal politicians and activists also promoted the hashtag. Linda Sarsour, the notorious Muslim activist who also was involved in the Women’s March, declared that immigrants “are what makes America great. Thank you for your contributions.”

Steve Preston, deputy chief of staff for the Democrat Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and former staffer for Barack Obama and Organizing for America, declared that “Philadelphia stands with Immigrants.”

His boss tweeted that “Philadelphia is thriving because of our immigrant community!”

Charlie Crist, the former Florida governor who left the Republican Party to challenge Marco Rubio in 2010 and ran for a second gubernatorial term as a Democrat in 2014 before settling on a seat in the House of Representatives in 2016, also joined the party. “As the grandson of immigrants, I know our greatness comes from welcoming others w open arms. #ToImmigrantsWithLove today & every day!!”

But the hashtag was not limited to liberals or Democrats. Collin Rugg, an outspoken Trump supporter, also wished a happy Valentine’s Day to immigrants. “Thank you to all the immigrants who came to this great country LEGALLY! We love you!” Rugg tweeted.

https://twitter.com/CollinRugg/status/831532874398527488

America is, after all, a country founded by immigrants. Conservatives and liberals should celebrate immigration, but they should also respect the president’s ability to set policy surrounding immigration, especially from countries of terror concern, as were involved in Trump’s executive order. Being pro-immigrant does not necessarily entail being against the executive order.

But is Valentine’s Day really about immigrants? Or does the holiday simply present another opportunity for liberals to engage in subtle anti-Trump virtue-signaling?