Welcome to America

The Story of María and Jésus

The Plight of Migrant Children is told through the story of María and Jésus in this series of graphics that were created on-site and photographed with my iPhone. Families escaping from dire circumstances in Latin America to the United States were separated at the border during the Trump administration. Children were locked in cages with little or no appropriate adult supervision. The horrors of the blatantly racist and illegal immigration policy are told through these small dolls. The hunt for materials integrates with my creative process. The vintage wooden boy and girl that I found at a garage sale sparked this story. The other toys are mostly cast-offs collected from thrift stores. The cloth Jésus and María and the maracas were purchased at a Oaxacan festival in my town of Santa Rosa, CA. The Día de Muertos skulls are stickers that I spotted at a gift shop. The “Bobbsey Twin” dolls represent the whiteness of America. In my story, the twins express the best of humanity and ideals of our country. We are all immigrants or descended from immigrants; our diversity makes our nation strong. 

Testimony of Clara Long (age 14) before U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, July 11, 2019

“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.”