Entrepreneur Pledges To Donate $5 To The ACLU For Every Hand-Drawn Message Of Support For Immigrants And Refugees

"Taking time to write out a message or draw something shows that you care in the same way a donation does."

On Friday, with an executive order that sent shockwaves through airports and aid organizations around the world, President Donald Trump barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days, including legal permanent U.S. residents. He also suspended the U.S. refugee program for a period of 120 days and halved the number of asylum-seekers that the country would admit in 2017.

The order stranded green card holders on their way home to their houses, their jobs, their communities and their mortgages. It separated families. It put an Iraqi refugee who had worked for the American military in handcuffs.

Across the country, Americans found ways to demonstrate their dissent from the executive order, which organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believe is unconstitutional, and their support for asylum-seekers. Thousands gathered at airports where refugees and immigrants were being held. Online, movements sparked as well.

On Saturday night, videoblogger and entrepreneur Hank Green pledged on Twitter to donate $5 to the ACLU for every hand-drawn message of support for Muslims, immigrants, and refugees that his followers sent to him. 

"There are a lot of people who can't give, but they can show their support," he told A Plus of his decision to exchange donations for drawings. "In the end, a retweet isn't much, y'know. But taking time to write out a message or draw something shows that you care in the same way a donation does."


Gage Skidmore

As momentum built, the entrepreneur cheered his followers on by asking them to "empty his bank account." His tweets proved a rallying cry for his community, who began showering him with drawings of love, support, and tolerance.

"People are getting to do it along with all of these other people, which is a nice feeling when it seems like everything is bad news," he said.

Courtesy Die Kleine Marie, @die_kleine_marie

So far, the campaign has raised at least $6,000 for the ACLU, and, given last night's ruling in a Brooklyn courthouse, Green's choice of beneficiary seems prescient. A federal judge granted an emergency stay on the execution of parts of the executive order and ordered the release of current airport detainees — after a successful case made by the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center.  Green card holders from the seven Muslim-majority countries who are still abroad, however, remain unsure when they will be allowed to return home.

"The ACLU exists for moments like this (and for moments that we will be having a lot more of in the next four years, I think) in which people who might not have their rights protected can have someone to fight for them," Green told A Plus.  "I had been thinking about donating to them for a while, but the reality of President Trump's Muslim ban pushed me over the edge."

Echo Gillette, @echoisweird

Want to get involved? Tweet @hankgreen with your own hand-drawn message of tolerance. That'll be $5 more that will help support the ACLU in their next legal battle protecting immigrants and refugees.

Green said he also hopes that the art created by his followers makes clear that the executive order signed by President Trump isn't indicative of most Americans' ideals.

"The message we want to send is that the majority of Americans didn't vote for this," he told A Plus. "We don't want it, it doesn't reflect our values, and it's not what our country stands for."

Check out other drawings from the campaign below:

Karen Hallion, @khallion
Katie Simrell, @katiesimrell
Maria Capelle Frantz, @maraicfrantz

UPDATE: In apparent response to mounting pressure, Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus said on NBC's Meet The Press that green card holders from one of the seven Muslim-majority countries  will be allowed entry in the country moving forward.


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.