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Liberty Weeps: Sights and Sounds of a Border Patrol Detention Facility in Downtown Cleveland


The Sights and Sounds of a Border Patrol Detention Facility in Downtown Cleveland


Clevelanders experienced the sights and sounds of a Border Patrol detention facility on Thursday, September 5. The Immigration Working Group CLE’s traveling installation “Liberty Weeps” featured an artistic representation of the Statue of Liberty weeping over a child huddled in a cage, accompanied by the sounds of children who were separated from their parents at the border. 


The installation traveled to three venues downtown: 12-1pm: the corner of Ontario and Carnegie; 1:30-3:30pm on Public Square; 4-5pm outside the  Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building at 1240 E 9th Street, coinciding with a monthly prayer vigil for immigrants organized by an interfaith group of clergy. 


The child represented one of the at least 2,900 forcibly separated from their parents by the Trump administration, held in centers without toothbrushes, towels, soap and showers. In the installation’s accompanying audio, sourced from ProPublica, six-year-old Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid and other children are heard wailing, crying and calling for their parents after being separated from them by Border Patrol. 

The installation calls into question many of the injustices perpetrated by our immigration system. The Statue of Liberty weeps because children are held in cages, our neighbors and community members are systematically rounded up and jailed, the immigration system favors the wealthy, our doors are being shut to refugees, legal asylum seekers are being forced to wait in Mexico and there is no longer a helping hand for legal immigrants. In response, the Immigration Working Group CLE calls for opposition to the new “public charge” rules, and end to family separation, permanent legal status for DACA and TPS recipients and the abolishment of ICE.

DACA = Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

TPS =  Temporary Protected Status

ICE = Immigration and Customs Enforcement