A group of undocumented artists in Boyle Heights recently used President Trump’s anti-immigration policies as fuel for their performances.

The Los Angeles Times reported the show We Never Needed Papers to Thrive showcased artists with undocumented  immigrant status. The Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory hosted the event late last month as a way to give a stage to the people who have been affected by Trump policies targeting undocumented immigrants.

Artists from Latino, Asian, and black backgrounds sang and performed spoken word pieces. Alessandro Negrete, who co-founded the show, told Times reporter Steve Saldívar that over 100 undocumented artists wanted to perform at the show. He said he and partners are working to expand the event to a larger gallery in order to accommodate the demand.

Negrete says the showcase was about providing a space for people’s voices during the current environment of fear within the immigrant community. A man was recently detained by ICE in Highland Park after dropping his daughter off at school. Recent sweeps across the country have targeted undocumented immigrants. At least 160 people in Southern California have been arrested.

Kyle Garcia

Kyle García is a former web editor with Boyle Heights Beat.

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