One year ago, the Trump Administration implemented family separation at the border. While a federal judge halted the appalling policy, the ramifications continue today. Thousands were separated — and the exact number is unknown considering the government didn’t correctly track each case. Although the judge ordered the government to reunite each child with their guardian, that was not possible with all of them because of their horrendous mismanagement. So many remain separated, and officials continue to separate them at the border.
To commemorate the policy and bring awareness to the civil rights of the undocumented, activist and author Paola Mendoza created an art installation piece outside Capitol Hill. The artwork consists of two statues, a mother and child. The woman is reaching out for her child, and the child is also reaching out for their mother, but they are behind a cage.
Mendoza, who’s also one of the organizers of the Women’s March, said her installation was inspired by the proverb “They Tried to Bury Us, But They Didn’t Know We Were Seeds.”
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Family separation is one the the most painful things I have ever worked on. Thousands of families were ripped away from one another because Trump thought this cruel policy would stop refugees from coming to the USA. Familes are fleeing for their lives and we put them in cages. Today marks one year after zero-tolerance was announced and families are still being separated. Demand your reps vote YES on the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, which would make sure those in detention are treated with respect. 202-224-3121 #UntilEveryFamilyIsReunited 📸@cherissmay
“As a mom, as an immigrant, as an activist as a citizen of this country and the world, I think it’s absolutely abhorrent that our government, our administration, would literally rip thousands of children from their parents,” Mendoza said in an interview with Newsweek. “We have to continue to remind people of where we are and what the Trump administration has done and that we cannot be complicit in this moment.”
People on social media are using the hashtag #UntilEveryFamilyIsReunited to bring awareness to the continuing fight against Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.
Presidential candidate Joaquin Castro tweeted, “I’ve seen the cruelty of migrant detention centers with my own eyes. It’s why I introduced the #FamiliesBelongTogether Act. Today marks 1 yr of the #FamilySeparation agenda. I won’t stop fighting to reunite every family torn apart by the Trump Admin. #UntilEveryFamilyIsReunited.”