On Monday morning, the day of the Iowa Caucuses, immigrants rights group RAICES announced the installation of cages throughout Des Moines, Iowa, a press release about the action noted.
“We put up a dozen chain-link cages in the city, placing them outside caucus sites, media offices, and other prominent places in the city, like city hall,” the RAICES release said. “These cages have fake children inside covered with mylar blankets, symbolizing the children jailed in detention along the border and throughout the country. Each cage includes a #DontLookAway sign and plays an actual recording from a child who was kept in detention.”
“The horrors at our border and throughout our immigration system are too often ignored by the public and politicians,” Erika Andiola, Chief Advocacy Officer for RAICES, said. “We’re asking people in Iowa and across the country: Don’t look away from the terrors enacted in your name. Don’t look away from the kids in cages, the asylum-seekers turned back at our border, the deportation raids destroying communities across the country. This anti-immigrant crackdown has to end.”
RAICES said that it plans to hold a press conference at 5:30 pm local time at Trinity Las Américas United Methodist Church.
“We’re doing this as the administration has broken records in immigration detention by keeping up to 55,000 people jailed at once, and has sent back more than 60,000 people to Mexico to await their asylum hearings in conditions that are utterly depraved, as we have been documenting for months. We’re doing this as the Trump administration has quadrupled workplace raids that target people holding a job and paying taxes in this country,” the release said.
According to RAICES, the installations are at the following locations:
- Trinity Las Américas United Methodist Church (1548 8th St, Des Moines, IA 50314)
- Central Academy (1912 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309)
- Smokey Rowe Coffee (1910 Cottage Grove Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314)
- Pappajohn Sculpture Park (1330 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309)
- First Unitarian Church (1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315)
- Centro / Starbucks (909 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309)
- Des Moines Marriott Downtown (700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309)
- Iowa State Capitol (1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319)
- Wellmark YMCA (501 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
- Des Moines Mural (5th Street and Locust St.)
- Savery Hotel (401 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309)
“We’re doing this because almost no politicians in this country are laser-focused on immigration. While some do far better than others, the horror at our border still goes ignored far too often, absent from the policy debates and statements from elected officials,” the release added.