Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Site 4: ICE building in Philadelphia

Site 4: Familias Separadas/ Somos Seres Humanos (We Are Human Beings)
Location: ICE Building, 1600 Callowhill Streets, Philadelphia



These words come from an undocumented immigrant mother, Ana, fighting with her daughter their deportation. After spending almost a year in Berks Detention Center, Ana and her daughter were deported back to their native country of Guatemala. A judge in Philadelphia recently declared her deportation unjust and ordered that they be brought back to the United States.

Over 30 volunteers and community members from Juntos came out to help me place my artwork in front of the ICE building on 16th and Callowhill. 

Thanks to my persistence, plus the support from Juntos and the Mural Arts Open Source City-wide project, together we were able to place the words of Ana in front of a building that decides who gets deported in this city. 

"The Berks County Detention Center is a county run prison located twenty minutes outside of Pennsylvania which currently incarcerates immigrant families, with children as young as two weeks old being detained. Families inside the prison have stated a laundry list of abuses such as verbal abuse, medical neglect, labor law violations and sexual assault. The continued operation of Berks violates both Federal and State law and organizations like Juntos is currently fighting for the state to remove the license, thus forcing the prison to close." says Juntos.

This is a great accomplishment, but the greater accomplishment will be when the people detained in that building are reunited with their families. 


Friday, October 9, 2015

Site 3: Siento El Miedo (I Feel the Fear)

Site 3- Familias Separadas/ Se Siente el Miedo
Location- 9th and Washington Avenue, Philadelphia

Despite making up only 75% of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., Latinos represent 97% of immigrants deported. This criminalization of Latinos has created a deportation machine that profits off the detention and deportation of the immigrant community.

Cruz rides his bicycle to work everyday through Washington Avenue. Due to the financial needs of his family, he left his home in Mexico at age 14 to be on his own and start working. He has worked hard through 20 plus years in the United States. While working one day, he was detained by ICE, completed his 4 month probation, and had to report himself for one full year to their offices.

His portrait lays on Washington Avenue along the pathway of the 9th Street Market, a home to immigrant families for over 100 years. He speaks about how this city was a symbol of freedom and now it feels more like a prison.