LOS ANGELES — This shop and exhibit may just be a pop-up, but its message is clear — that all immigrants, refugees and their children are welcomed and are here to stay.
Pro-immigrant think tank group fwd.us marked Immigrant Heritage Month in LA with this two-day I Am An Immigrant pop-up celebrating the achievements and contributions of immigrants.
This project comes as communities face issues such as deportations and travel bans.
“There is a lot of representation we’ve gotten from all backgrounds, all walks of life, and that’s one thing we hope to do with the I Stand With Immigrants campaign is to bring in more allies, and have them be more vocal why they support immigrants, and to talk about how immigrants are making America a better place to live,” said Leezia Dhalla.
While some celebrities and elected officials took part, Filipinos stopped by to pay tribute to their roots.
“One of the main reasons we came here to America was to escape martial law. A lot of other immigrants throughout the world, they may have other reasons for coming here as well. The United States has always been a land of opportunity,” said Andre Ojeda.
Ojeda has grown up to do his part in serving the community, working for a non-profit that provides services for disadvantaged families, and he hopes more immigrants can join him as well.
“40 years later, I really can’t complain much, but we want to keep make sure opportunities are open for any other immigrants and potential family members that may want to come here as well.”
As immigrants, including Filipinos, proudly put their flags on this wall — an exhibit showcases the contributions of immigrants and the children of immigrants, no matter their status.
This art wall features a picture of Filipino Jose Antonio Vargas next to Selena, author Sandra Cisneros, and writing professor Junot Diaz.
Just a few ways this collective is saying immigrants and their children are here and trying to do their part.