Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images
Fiona Apple Pledges Two Years Of "Criminal" Royalties To Immigrant Resource Fund
In a letter shared via her Tumblr fan page, the activist/singer-songwriter explained that the GRAMMY-winning 1996 hit song is her "most requested" for TV/film, and she generally shares its earnings with friends and family. After witnessing the continued news of the inhumane treatment of migrants at U.S. borders, she wanted this income to support refugees.
"After months and months of reading the news about how my country is treating refugees, I've become gutted with frustration trying to figure out the best way to help," Apple wrote.
She continued: "[While They Wait] seems to me that the best way I can help detainees is to contribute to payment of their legal fees. What they need is representation and guidance because these people are being prosecuted as criminals just for asking for asylum."
In the post, she encouraged other songwriters to also donate earnings from a song to the org, and for everyone interested to check out their work:
"I want to ask other songwriters to donate just ONE TIME, the money they get for the usage of one of their songs to this organization or one of their choosing. I could write a song about this and maybe I will but for now, I will use "CRIMINAL" to help the WRONGLY criminalized get justice. I encourage anyone who wants to join with me to get involved—watch the short film on their site."
While They Wait was launched in January in response by three social justice non-profits; ACLU SoCal, RAICES Texas and Brooklyn Defender Services. According to their website, with data from USCIS, there are currently 311,000 immigrants living seeking asylum. The video Apple references, shared above, tells the heartbreaking story of Honduran asylum-seeker Nilda, one of BDS's clients, and features a song by benny blanco, Calvin Harris and Miguel.
For more information on how to get involved, visit the fund's website.