US children’s authors campaign against ‘kids in cages’

US children’s authors campaign against ‘kids in cages’

A group of US authors has raised more than $102,000 (£77,500) to help children in detention camps, following news reports that minors are being separated from their parents and forced into detention camps at the US border, according to Publishers Weekly.

The authors behind the ‘Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages’ campaign include Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl and Rainbow Rowell, who initially wanted to raise $42,000 (£32,000) to buy a full-page ad in the New York Times Book Review. Now they have decided to distribute the money to organisations, including Kids in Need of Defense, which provides legal aid to children who enter the US immigration system alone.

In a joint statement, the authors said: “As members of the children’s book industry who have built careers with teen and youth readers around the world, we jointly and strongly condemn the inhumane treatment of immigrant children evidenced by the United States Department of Justice in the past week. We believe that innocent children should not be separated from their parents. We believe the “Zero Tolerance” directive issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is cruel, immoral and outrageous. We believe the Department of Justice is engaging in practices that should be restricted to the pages of dystopian novels. We demand and expect better, and call on our readers to do the same.”

The statement has been signed by more than 1,700 people, according to Publishers Weekly.

Earlier this week news reports said Trump administration officials had been separating babies and children from immigrants arriving at the US-Mexico border and sending the kids to shelters in Texas.

According to the Guardian, President Trump has now backed plans to end the separations but did not accept responsibility for the practice.