Alyssa Milano has shared a heartbreaking video of immigrant toddlers being forced to defend themselves in court.
"Oh my f***ing, God. Oh my f***ing, God. Oh my f***ing, God. Stop what you're doing and watch this," she wrote on Twitter. "If you're ok with this unfollow me because you have no heart."
The video — which was originally posted by Now This — shows children as young as three attempting to testify before a judge for their right to remain in the United States.
In one scene, a judge asks a small boy if he knows what a lawyer is, and he shakes his head.
In another, the same judge asks a girl if she's a little nervous this morning. "Si," she responds.
While the video is obviously staged — filming of court proceedings is not allowed — filmmaker Linda Freedman said the content was based on immigration hearings she attended, interviews with pro-bono attorneys and others who had experience with unaccompanied children.
"In recent years the number of unaccompanied immigrant children migrating to the United States has nearly tripled and they have no representation or legal counsel, leaving them vulnerable and alone," she said.
The inspiration for the film came from the treatment of immigrant children she's witnessed over the past four years — under both the Trump and Obama administrations.
Migrant children as young as three years old have reportedly been forced to appear in court for their own deportation proceedings.
Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles told the Texas Tribune: "We were representing a three-year-old in court recently who had been separated from the parents. And the child — in the middle of the hearing — started climbing up on the table.
"It really highlighted the absurdity of what we're doing with these kids."
She said parents are generally tried along with young children and made to explain the circumstances that have led to them to seek asylum in the US.
But the children being detained under the "zero tolerance" policy are facing immigration proceedings without their parents by their side.
"The parent might be the only one who knows why they fled from the home country, and the child is in a disadvantageous position to defend themselves," Ms Toczylowski said.
Under US law, children arrested for illegally entering the country have no right to a court-appointed lawyer, no access to interpreters — despite the fact that many don't speak English — and no way to contact or communicate with a lawyer.
Meanwhile, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have been told to give immigrants the option of agreeing to be deported if they want to see their children again — including those who have filed credible fear reports about returning to their home countries.
The directive was outlined in a government form obtained by NBC News.
"We are seeing cases where people who have passed credible fear interviews and have pending asylum claims are being given this form," Lee Gelernt, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, told the network.
A total of 2000 immigrant children were separated from their parents under Mr Trump's "zero tolerance" policy. The President later signed an executive order to reversed this, following a massive global backlash.
In 2016, during the Obama administration, a longtime immigration judge was widely ridiculed for arguing that toddlers can learn immigration law well enough to represent themselves in court.
"I've taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds," Judge Jack H. Weil said, according to the Washington Post. "It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It's not the most efficient, but it can be done."
His argument was slammed by legal and child-psychology experts.