We the People

Immigrants are to America what atoms are to everything. They are the building blocks. The essential elements. From the Pilgrims to the Poles, the 16th century Spanish to the 1960s Hispanic, today’s America would not exist without immigrants.

We the People, a series of six watercolors, points to the inherent importance of immigrants, regardless of race, religion, or refugee status. Placing minority immigrants into famous American paintings, the series reminds us that those most maligned in today’s immigration debates are no different than the pioneers and Puritans who came before them. They too seek peace, freedom, and the chance to carve out a better life.

Of course, individuals still need to be vetted with an eye on security. But blanket blockades, inhumanely organized detention, and discrimination are not useful. Not only do they ignore the fact that those once considered “different”—the Irish, the Italians, and more— have become key to the fabric and fame of America, but they tarnish Washington’s golden vision for our nation:

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions…” -George Washington.

It’s when we heed Washington’s words that our country grows stronger, richer, and more vibrant. It’s how we have the corner stores where we buy our milk, the food that fills our supermarkets, and the innovations that give our country glory. And it’s how all of us, save for Native Americans, came to be here on this soil, breathing this air, and living in this place we call home.

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