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Actor, former Obama aide Kal Penn raises $500K for refugees

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/30/2017 By The Associated Press
FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2013, file photo, Kal Penn arrives at CBS's 1st National TV Dinner Night at the CBS Radford Studios in Los Angeles. Penn raised more than $500,000 for Syrian refugees after launching an online fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. (Photo by Matt Sayles /Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2013, file photo, Kal Penn arrives at CBS's 1st National TV Dinner Night at the CBS Radford Studios in Los Angeles. Penn raised more than $500,000 for Syrian refugees after launching an online fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. (Photo by Matt Sayles /Invision/AP, File)

Actor Kal Penn has raised more than $500,000 for Syrian refugees after launching an online fundraiser over the weekend.

Penn also served as an associate director in former President Barack Obama's White House Office of Public Engagement. Penn, whose parents are Indian, responded to an Instagram commenter who told him he didn't "belong in this country" by launching the fundraiser Saturday and asking followers to donate to it in the commenter's name.

Penn says in an online video that he thought the fundraiser would simply be "an uplifting way to raise $2,500 bucks." He calls it "a beautiful way to resist" President Donald Trump's order to temporarily suspend immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Penn starred in TV's "House" and in the "Harold & Kumar" films.

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