Every 12 months in Milwaukee, highschool college students have the prospect to take their creativity on the street, adorning a public bus in a theme of their alternative.
This 12 months, nevertheless, the chosen theme is drawing scrutiny, resulting from its overarching motif: “Stop ICE.”
Splashed throughout one facet of the Milwaukee County Transit System bus in query is a mural depicting officers detaining immigrant households.
Meanwhile, one other a part of the bus wrapping gives recommendation on how group members can evade U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities, ought to brokers come knocking on their door.
The bus artwork undertaking was sponsored by the Milwaukee Art Museum as a part of an ongoing teen ArtXpress program.
With ICE having not too long ago carried out what immigration officers have mentioned might be the largest single-state raid in U.S. historical past in Mississippi this month, college students in Milwaukee mentioned they wished to make use of this annual alternative to talk out in assist of the households affected by the Trump administration’s ongoing immigration crackdown.
“It’s something that we wish wasn’t real, but it’s something that people are actually facing now,” one pupil artist concerned within the undertaking, Yazmillie Reyes told Fox 6 News about this year’s chosen theme.
While Reyes and different college students hoped their art work would spark dialogue inside their group, some residents mentioned they took offense to the undertaking.
“I feel like them writing on there on how to avoid ICE when they come to your doorstep, I find, as a Milwaukee taxpayer that is paying for that, I find that quite insulting,” one resident, Michael Percy advised the broadcaster.
Reyes defended the undertaking, nevertheless, asserting that it’s “not anti-police at all.”
“We just wanted to show that an immigrant can be anybody,” the scholar mentioned. “America was created off of immigrants.”
The MCTS has not instantly responded to a request for remark from Newsweek, however in a press release to Fox 6, a spokesperson mentioned that it allowed the scholars to maneuver forward with the theme as a result of the Milwaukee Art Museum had paid for the advert simply as any advertiser would. Further, the undertaking didn’t violate the transport service’s tips for content material.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee County Supervisor Sequanna Taylor stood staunchly in assist of the undertaking, saying: “I am proud of the students who bravely stood up for themselves and their peers during such a challenging time for our country.”
Taylor mentioned she was impressed by college students’ artwork, which she mentioned “draws attention to serious human rights violations occurring under our current administration. I applaud them for using their civil rights to protect the rights of others with this important work.”
“Families are being ripped apart by the federal government’s inhumane treatment. Our children in the United States see news images and hear stories daily about youth who look just like them being torn away from their parents—not only at the border but also in their hometowns across the country,” she mentioned. “I stand with these children whose art speaks out against the uncivil and inhumane policy of separating and detaining migrant families. We must not stop fighting to keep families together.”