Immigration advocacy group brings 'Abolish ICEbox' display to SXSW

Immigration advocacy group brings 'Abolish ICEbox' display to SXSW
© RAICES/Twitter

An immigration advocacy group has arranged a display at the South by Southwest festival in Texas that mirrors an immigration holding facility.

Texas Monthly magazine reported Monday that Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) brought the "Abolish ICEbox" to the festival on March 8 and 9, and will do again this coming Friday and Saturday. The display is part of an effort to educate attendees about the conditions migrants face in government detention centers.


The pop-up exhibit is a "freezing-cold storage pod," Texas Monthly reported. Artists Yocelyn Riojas and Gerardo Silguero worked with RAICES staffer Ana Maria Rea to create the pod, which is based on testimonials from RAICES clients who have been held in government facilities.

"It’s not meant to be something fun or cool to do at South by Southwest,” Silguero told Texas Monthly. “This is about the children and what they go through when they arrive at the border.”

The title of the display is a play on "Abolish ICE," a movement supported by some progressive lawmakers to do away with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Trump administration drew widespread backlash last year when it implemented a policy that led to the separation of hundreds of migrant families who had crossed the border illegally.

Lawmakers toured government detention facilities used to house the migrants, and lamented the conditions, describing images of children being held in cages.

Democrats last week grilled Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenLeft-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' House Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing MORE over the government's use of cages to hold migrant children. Nielsen disputed the definition of a "cage," and said the government never used such facilities to hold children.