United in the belief that immigration detention is not a solution and that we need to create new perspectives, IDC and the Campaign to End the Immigration Detention of Children joined forces this month with the translocal migrant movement Flourish Here and There. On July 6th, Mexico City’s historic grand square, the Zócalo, filled with art, music and the voices of those who for some reason had to leave their countries, in an act of solidarity in favor of local well-being across borders: migrant, refugee, deported, returned, detained and undocumented persons, citizens, families, neighbors and communities.

The importance of hearing migrant voices, many of them having lived through the experiences of detention and deportation, cannot be overestated at this critical time of acute criminalization of human mobility. The so-called “crisis” we face as a society is that of normalizing discrimination and making xenophobia acceptable. Celebrating the realities of migration and the hope that characterizes it, through music, dance, art, children’s books and activities, is undoubtedly part of the solution.

The spirit of inclusion and solidarity brought together artists in pro bono collaboration, including three cumbia djs, the rapper Dayra Fyah, the migrant ensamble “Latido Nómada”, the band the Mexican Standoff from Los Angeles and the Singing City Choir from Philadelphia, the publisher ateconqueso, the social innovation group Activate Labs, many many volunteers, with migrant groups and partner organizations in Mexico, Central America and the United States.

Invited by the organization Otros Dreams en Accion (ODA), they presented 6 joint proposals, symbolically represented (by binational artist Emily C-D) by a carpet in the shape of a mandala made of seeds, grains and flowers that remind us of human mobility, freedom of movement, nourishment, the ability to grow and flourish in different places, and painted posters in the hands of a compass that guides us.

  1. Abolish Migrant Detention: Detention and deportation are not part of the solution.
  2. Families belong together: Separating migrant families is a crime against humanity.
  3. Diverse communities: Natural ecosystems thrive with diversity, and human culture is no exception. Discrimination is dehumanization, lives are on the line.
  4. Safety and inclusion: Safety and inclusion for all migrants creates safer communities for all of us.
  5. Education and jobs: This is the key for strong (trans) local economies.
  6. People before papers: Documents should create access instead of inequality.

Solidarity spreads and parallel events were held in other cities: in San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Guatemala City, Tapachula, Ixtepec, Queretaro, Tijuana, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Staten Island, and Brooklyn.

For more information, to join the campaign or make a donation visit Florecer aquí y allá.

To learn more about alternatives to detention visit How IDC Defines ‘Alternatives to Detention’