The first-ever monument to honor migrants was uncovered near downtown Los Angeles on Sunday.
The statue is made of bronze, 19-feet tall and portrays a migrant father standing with his wife and child, detailed the Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar. It is honoring Mexican migrants, popular as ‘Braceros’, a group of officials was significant to recognize, said Huizar.
He continued that “their story hasn’t been told.”
Millions of guest workers came from Mexico to the United States of America under a government scheme that lasted for decades. They were popular as ‘Braceros’ – a term used for manual laborers restrain from “Brazo” the Spanish word for “Arm”.
The scheme started with an executive order issued in 1942 objected labor shortages during the Second World War that concluded in 1964, according to sources.
Jose Huizar has termed it as a story and his family lived it.
He continued, “My father was a Bracero. All my uncles were Braceros. And they tell me many stories of the time they would come. They tell me about the sacrifices they made, sometimes they would go without water during the day, the barracks they put them in, terrible barracks, the living conditions were horrible,” adding that “but despite these sacrifices, they were appreciative of the opportunity, because they were able to get a little money, (and) send it back to their families.”
The story of ‘Bracero’ is personal for the artist who is behind the monument, Dan Medina.
Medina told sources, “My stepfather, who pretty much raised me and taught me the work ethic and everything I am today, he was a Bracero.”
While speaking this week from his studio, the artist has said that the sculpture has an even bigger message than the story as “being able to talk about the immigrant, their contributions then, and now, and tomorrow.”
Leobardo Villa claims that he sees himself in the sculpture of Dam Medina. He first came to the United States a ‘Bracero’ working in the tomato fields of California. Every day they used to start before dawn and work until 7:00 PM, said Median. His uncle used to ask them to stay in the fields “until the crickets started to chirp”.
Median said, “It was very difficult for people who weren’t used to working in the fields,” adding that “they got blisters on their hands.”
The 82-year-old Ramo Zapata is another ex-bracero, said that the mother and child portray in the monument speak to him.
He continued, “It was so difficult to leave your family alone.” Ramo Zapata came to the United States as a part of the scheme thrice, harvesting tomatoes, and picking cotton in California and also working in the fields of Colorado.
The unveiling of the monuments comes after months of sparring over immigration between President Donald Trump’s Administration and several California Jurisdictions – many of which argue that the Federal Government went too far in its efforts to crack down limit legal immigration and illegal immigration to the United States of America.
Huizar has assisted to secure the project’s funding and has been working on it with community leaders for years, claims that plan for the 19-meter tall statue started long before President Trump took charge of the office. He continued that the monuments uncovered couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
“We’re now sending a message, despite what the president’s doing, we’re moving forward. You can have your rhetoric that is anti-immigrant, that is counter to what the city of Los Angeles believes in,” said Huizar, “We’re moving forward as a city of immigrants, proud of our roots.”