Immigrant Couple,

Raul Servin

Mixed media | Técnica mixta
152.4 x 121.9 cm (60 x 48 in)
Collection of the artist | Colección del artista
Photo courtesy of the artist | Imagen cortesía del artista

Artist’s Statement

The painting shows Jose, Maria, and Jesus.  Jesus was two years old when they moved here. He is a Dreamer and is feeling the shock of cultures: a child without a country.  Last is Billy in the arms of his mama.  He is an anchor baby, because he was born in the U.S, therefore a citizen. In the painting, Little Billy knows that, and his American cockiness, his Chicano eagle, and even his sunglasses make him look different from his family.  There is always a dog in Mexican families.  Behind them in the bottom is the American flag in the shape of spikes or pickets representing the obstacles, questions, requirements, etc. that are in a U.S. immigration petition.  In some parts of the flag you see bloody gun holes on the stripes representing the border violence. Then there are gaps in the fence from where previous immigrants cut through.  And last, the sky, the beautiful sky.  It is the symbol of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness… until they passed the SB.4 law.

In 2017 the SB.4 Law was enacted.  What is SB.4?  It is a senate bill that forces local governments and law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal officers.  It punishes local officials who choose to prioritize their community’s safety over the anti-immigrant agenda of politicians, and diverts precious local resources away from communities to serve the needs of the federal government.

This law affected American citizens. Churches were invaded. Children were detained. Volunteers trying to feed those victims were also jailed. Jails were packed and, in some instances, the police preferred to free criminals to make more room for those poor, illegal migrants in their jails. They also went to check the schools and the same thing happened. Fathers deported and/or detained. The children separated from their families. It was called zero tolerance along the borders and everywhere.

I get angry when I hear someone saying, “Why do they choose to come illegally when there is a right way?” Well, let’s try that. The annual quota for immigration from Mexico is sometimes 25,000 to 30,000. There is a backlog of 1,000,000. If you applied today, it would take 33 to 40 years to be called. Do you have that time?