They lie prone on the ground across New York City, covered with the metallic blankets used in life-or-death emergencies.
They are individually placed in chain-link cages at more than 20 locations citywide, from the sidewalks outside stately cultural institutions to hipster enclaves.
They are models portraying migrant children in cages detained at the US-Mexico border, comprising an installation put up Wednesday morning to protest family separation.
Help the 3,000+ children who’ve been separated from their parents at the border— No Kids In Cages (@NoKidsInCagesUS) June 12, 2019
and support @raicestexas. Look out for the installations around NYC. Sharing is an act of protest. #NoKidsInCages #PassHR541 https://t.co/F5UbrcJDNP pic.twitter.com/t3PLKjOJV6
The installations are part of an activist campaign called #NoKidsInCages, which calls on lawmakers to end family separation by passing the Keep Families Together Act. Advertising agency Badger & Winters started #NoKidsinCages to support Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, known as Raices, organizers said in a press release.
Family separation stems from the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy toward migrants who cross into the US from Mexico illegally. As part of this policy, children and their parents would be held in separate detention facilities.
“The installations – models of ‘children’ in cages – are intended to be an emotional, provocative, multisensory experience that represents the conditions that children are being subjected to at the border due to the Department of Justice’s Zero Tolerance Immigration Enforcement Policy,” organizers said in a statement.
The cages were installed at Manhattan locations such as the American Museum of Natural History, Google’s Chelsea Market building and several media companies’ headquarters.
In Brooklyn, installations were placed in McCarren Park and a Bedford Avenue subway stop, both located in the borough’s hip Williamsburg neighborhood, and the Barclays Center arena, organizers said.
The New York police department later said that eight cages “with mannequin infants/children” have been removed.