7:06 AM PDT, August 8, 2021
A section of border fence in the Mexican city of Tijuana is now the site of a piece of social commentary. Murals on the fence depict 15 individuals who were deported from the U.S.
The Playas de Tijuana Mural Project tells the stories of people who could not get DACA status. DACA — or the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals — allows those who arrived in the U.S. as children, without documentation, to remain in the country.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services estimates that as of March 2021, there were 616,030 active DACA participants. They are sometimes known as “Dreamers.”
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, over 185,000 people were deported in 2020. One of the faces featured on the Tijuana wall belongs to a deported veteran named Alex Murillo.
The mural is the work of a Mexican-American artist named Liz Cruz, who spent several years on the project, interviewing and photographing people before turning those encounters into the work.
Those who visit the mural project can learn more about the people on it through QR codes.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has opted to retain a policy known as “Expedited Removal.” The policy allows for the rapid deportation of undocumented immigrants without a hearing.