An interactive mural made for a doctoral dissertation, was considered an act of vandalism. In 2021, a group of people helped paint self portraits onto pieces of cloth, and then cut them out. These pieces of 15 individuals were then placed onto the border that separates the United States and Mexico. The University of California Davis alumni that made this possible was Lizbeth de La Cruz Santana, who called this artwork “The Playas De Tijuana Mural Project”, and used it to bring attention to undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States at a very young age. This mural is interactive since it has QR codes shown that you can scan, and find the stories of each person depicted on the mural. Some of these immigrants are still in the United States thanks to the DACA program, while others have been deported due to petty crimes they committed.

An example of a person that was illustrated was Alex Murillo, who served in the U.S. Navy, but was deported due to a marijuana offense. Having this brought to our attention with real stories of real people is more important than simply knowing the number of people that were deported that year. Although many may argue that these people who were deported had a reason to be deported, there are also many U.S. citizens who were born and raised here, and have done worse than the migrants, yet they are still untouched.

Others may say that this act of vandalization is rude to not only the border, but the country, since it is a part of us and what separates us from Mexico. The only response I have to that, is that California used to be a part of Mexico before it was stolen. The border can be moved or can be found a way around it, but people do more damage than the border could ever do. If we all tried to understand each other’s situation, we wouldn’t need to do things like take three years to plan a way to bring people’s attention to an issue many are dealing with. Us humans divide ourselves, making us the worst border there could be.

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Delia Salas

6 thoughts on “The Worst Border

  1. Legally, it makes sense that this is considered an act of vandalism, but that doesn’t stop it from being a powerful piece of art. In fact, the nature of it being an illegal mural lends the art additional depth in my opinion. I think it is very important to acknowledge the actual people and faces in any issue, including that of deportation, as opposed to just looking at the numbers. This piece calls to attention the unfair treatment immigrants experience, and does so in a relevant place to the issue, since the border acts as such a strong divide between the US and Mexico, and there are people on this side of the border that definitely don’t even try to see past that and acknowledge the people on the other side as even being people.

  2. If this artwork was considered an act of vandalism, although it might be technically true, there is so much thought put into a project like this. I think that it’s really beautiful that they’re stories are told in this way through the QR codes. I looked into the link that you sent and saw that they did this artwork on the Mexican side of the border. While I think that this project is very beautiful, maybe putting it on the US side would’ve been better. It seems like the targeted audience for this piece is more towards Americans rather than Mexicans. I’m sure Lizbeth de la Cruz Santana thought about this before she did the project so she might have a proper reason.

  3. The interactive mural on the border wall is a great project that sheds light on the border and immigration crisis. I’ve actually been to the mural in Tijuana, Mexico and it is an excellent representation of how the border affects hundreds of people. Meeting people in Mexico who are making the journey to cross the border puts into perspective how the conditions in other countries are unsafe. Not safe to the point where so many people are willing to make the sacrifice of embarking on the journey to the United States border just for a chance at a new life.

    The story of Alex Murillo is an example of how the United States treats immigrants even though they have fought for the country’s freedom. Deportation of veterans is a sad reality that occurs on a regular basis.

  4. The interactive mural on the border wall is a great project that sheds light on the border and immigration crisis. I’ve actually been to the mural in Tijuana, Mexico and it is an excellent representation of how the border affects hundreds of people. Meeting people in Mexico who are making the journey to cross the border puts it into perspective how the conditions in other countries are unsafe. Not safe to the point where so many people are willing to make the sacrifice of embarking on the journey to the United States border just for a chance at a new life.

    The story of Alex Murillo si an example of how the United States treats immigrants even though they have fought for the country’s freedom. Deportation of veterans is a sad reality that occurs on regular basis.

  5. Hello Delia, hope all is well. I enjoyed reading your article. It’s really interesting how much the border is prioritized in the US. I understand why it’s such a prioritization due to the smuggling of drugs and illegal substances. However, there is no reason to make it very difficult to gain citizenship in the US. Especially when it comes to people seeking better opportunities. If I’m going to be honest, I believe that Trump portrayed a false narrative for immigrants by claiming that a majority of them were criminals. That is utter false news. Him being able to reach a wide array of people through his power allowed this border culture to grow. It’s crazy because US citizens commit worse crimes than those who are migrants.

    I enjoy your last paragraph and how you mention how it’s stolen land that’s being protected in the first place. I feel like there is this interesting dynamic between white supremacy and border control. I feel like there is a stubbornness that comes from not wanting to understand another person’s situation. Also, I love your closing statement because it’s so true!

  6. The mural is a great representation of the reality of undocumented immigrants coming to The United States. It is ignorant to label such art as “vandalism”.

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