If Ivanka Trump happened to take a look at her Instagram app during her Thanksgiving on Thursday, there's a chance she noticed a message making the rounds that was directed squarely at her. Specifically, a call for her to use her influence to push for a congressional vote on the DREAM Act, thus protecting young undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation. That's right, a "Dear Ivanka" Instagram letter made the rounds, asking the presidential adviser and first daughter to devote herself to an important cause.
The idea behind the request is that the 36-year-old eldest daughter of President Donald Trump ostensibly carries influence with her father. Influence which could be used to convince him to put more pressure, or devote more of his political capital, towards getting a congressional vote for a clean, no-strings-attached version of the DREAM Act by December.
Basically, celebrities on Instagram who noticed that Ivanka follows them started posting images with the same, simple text, asking her to do whatever she can. According to HuffPost, the first person to get the ball rolling was Sophia Amoruso, the author of #GirlBoss (which was adapted into a Netflix series earlier this year), and the former CEO of the now-defunct women's clothing retailer Nasty Gal.
In relatively short order, a number of other high-profile people who Ivanka follows on Instagram followed suit, posting the same words (although not necessarily the exact same image) to their own accounts. As BuzzFeed noted, the message was also posted by Audrey Gelman, the owner of the women's-only club The Wing, as well as British models Carla Delevingne and Alexa Chung, and actresses Sophia Bush and Olivia Wilde.
Beginning with "Dear Ivanka," the message is noticeably devoid of any overt snark or antagonism, and makes a pretty straightforward request: please, please, please do whatever you can to increase the chances that the DREAM Act passes by December.
The question of Ivanka's ability to wield influence in the White House, and to moderate her father's often nationalistic and hard-right agenda, has been a familiar topic throughout the first year of the Trump administration. It's most prominently been discussed, however, in instances where she's failed to make any clear impact. Such as when her father announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords, something Ivanka reportedly opposed.
She's also drawn criticism for seeming to change course on some previously stated values, like supporting equal pay for men and women in the workplace. Back in August, she controversially threw her support behind ending an Obama-era rule requiring that private businesses with more than 100 employees report their wages by race and gender to the government, claiming it "would not yield the intended results."
There's good reason to think Ivanka isn't going to be able to exert any influence on this matter, even if she sees the posts, and even if she wants to. When her father announced his plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program back in September, he specifically delayed it for six months, ostensibly to give Congress the chance to remedy the situation by passing the DREAM Act.
As such, he effectively washed his hands of the issue, kicking the issue more or less entirely into the House and Senate's respective laps. Also, setting aside the fact that Ivanka hasn't publicly demonstrated much overt ability to influence her father's decision-making, she's also pushed back against the idea that she has such influence, and has said it would be "undermining" for her to challenge him publicly. Back in mid-September, she reportedly said the following:
To voice dissent publicly would mean I’m not part of the team. That doesn’t mean everyone in the White House has homogeneous views - we don’t, and I think that’s good and healthy - but that doesn’t mean we’re publicly undermining [each other] and this administration.
In other words, this Instagram effort to convince Ivanka to wield her influence ― if she even has any ― is pretty much the definition of a long shot. But at the very least, there's a decent chance she saw the message these women were trying to send, or will hear about it after the fact.