“Border Crisis” consists of a series of paintings that I created in response to the Zero Tolerance Policy of the Trump administration. Asylum is illegally denied the immigrants desperately fleeing dire situations that include gang violence, starvation and poverty. The Family Separation Policy removes young children from their parents at the Mexican border where they are imprisoned in CBP holding facilities: concrete floors fenced with barbed wire. Inadequate adult supervision is worsened by COVID-19 where ICE officers won’t enter these cells for fear of contagion. The US imports avocados, pineapples, bananas and mangos from Guatemala, Mexico and other countries yet, impoverished Guatemalans are fleeing drought where maize, the main staple, cannot be grown. The US depends upon migrant labor to plant and harvest our crops. A flawed government tracking system does not accurately count separated nor reunited families. I memorialized the seven children known to have died in US custody as well as the essentials that are denied to all the imprisoned children.
My 8×8 inch acrylic and watercolor paintings expose the truth and express my outrage.
“Kids in Cages: Inhumane Treatment at the Border”
Testimony of Clara Long Before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, July 11, 2019
A 14-year-old girl told us:
“I was in the first cell for seven days, sleeping with no mattress. It is hard to sleep when you don’t have a mattress. I then came down with the flu. I then went into the flu cell for seven days. When you are in the flu cell, you also sleep on the floor, but you have a mattress. There were 21 other kids in that space with the flu. I had a fever in there and I was shaking. Some of the other kids were vomiting. They all had fevers. No one was taking care of the kids with the flu. … We were not allowed to leave the flu cell, ever. It was very boring. I did nothing to entertain myself, nor was anything offered. It was sad, very sad. I felt locked up and closed in.”