DACA outdoor art project stops in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A nationwide art initiative called the Inside Out Project will visit South Bend Friday in an effort to use the power of pictures to speak out to Congress.

The initiative includes two traveling photo-booth trucks stopping in 35 cities across the nation to elevate local voices in response to the Trump Administration’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program. Better known as DACA, the program protects hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.

Unless Congress acts to restore the program, it will end in March 2018.

The Inside Out Project is asking communities to urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act before the end of the year. It is doing this with a one-day photo booth exhibit.

A photo-booth truck will stop at the Administration Building on Indiana University South Bend’s campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. The group Inside Out/Dreamers encourage everyone in the community to have a portrait taken as a way to stand behind DACA recipients in the form of art.

The portraits will be printed off in black and white onto large posters and pasted on the Administration Building wall, reminding the community of the real and human faces behind the DACA program debate.   

“We want this project to really illustrate all the different faces in the community,” said Lizzie Lewis, communications director of the truck for the Inside Out Dreamers Tour. “So when people look at it they can see the direct impact if we don’t have protections for these 800,000 people at risk by not passing the DREAM Act.”

Lewis says the event also provides a unique platform to elevate local voices. Even without being part of the collage of photos, she still encourages the community to support DACA recipients in other ways.

“Our goal is for community members to get on social media or to call their congressman and urge them to do the right thing by voting yes to passing the DREAM Act,” said Lewis.

Around 2,600 DACA recipients currently live in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, thousands more across the nation. Lewis says the overwhelming majority of those are either in school or full-time employees. Removing their protections would also affect the economy.

“There’s an estimated 280 billion dollar GDP loss over the next ten years if we don’t have these 800,000 people in our workforce,” said Lewis

The tour will end on December 19 in Washington D.C. 

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