I am so proud of my mentee, Julio Salgado, who, along with Jose Antonio Vargas and other DREAMers, made the cover of this week's TIME Magazine. Check out this video where he talks about his experience as an undocumented, queer artivist.
I met Julio Salgado last year and have since been collaborating on various projects.I believe that art and culture have a crucial role to play in transforming, redefining, and re-imagining immigration. When it comes to immigration, the discourse rarely focuses on the stories of real people trying to succeed; instead, the frame is dominated by criminality and punishment. Julio and I believe that when we share our images and tell our stories, we illustrate the human struggle and win over broad audiences. Our art work can drive ideas home in a way that is unmatched by any other medium.
Julio has used his talents to document his struggle as an undocumented youth and the struggle of the undocumented community. I have personally witnessed Julio's growth as an artist and I'm proud to support him. As an artist who was born in the U.S., I feel I have the responsiblity to support other younger artists who are most affected by the laws that I'm fighting against. I can use my American priviledge to be an ally to undocumented migrants, starting with artists.
Julio recently shared his father's reaction to him being on the cover of TIME.
“When I called my father and told him that I was going to be on the cover of TIME Magazine along with other DREAMers he began to cry. I haven’t heard my dad cry in years. In between sobs, he told me how proud of me he was. When I heard the Obama announcement, I thought of my dad and how much he has contributed to this country with his labor. Yet he will not benefit from the administrative relief. It is because of people like my father that I will continue to speak out about what it means to be an undocumented immigrant and make sure to keep politicians accountable.”
More about Julio Salgado: Julio Salgado is the co-founder of DreamersAdrift.com. His activist artwork has become a staple of the DREAM Act movement. His status as an undocumented, queer artivist has fueled the contents of his illustrations, which depict key individuals and moments of the DREAM Act movement. Undocumented students and allies across the country have used Salgado's artwork to call attention to the youth-led movement. Salgado graduated from California State Universitiy, Long Beach with a degree in journalism.