Performers at ASU protest treatment of 'aliens'
April 22, 2008
University student Renato Ramos Tuesday dressed up as a ringmaster and joined
what he calls a group of like-minded people who are also performance artists to
bring attention to a condition he calls "aliens in a cage."
"We want to get people to see what is going on with all the anti-immigration
rhetoric that we're hearing these days," said Ramos, 26, as he stood next to a
small "cage" he and his friends had put on the ASU Tempe campus mall.
Inside the cage was a young woman sitting beside two dog bowls.
On the wire cage hung slips of paper with "Sheriff Joe Arpaio" and other names
written on them - all representing groups or individuals Ramos and his friends
consider unfriendly to the cause of undocumented workers.
Student Carlos Garcia, 24, was part of the project on the mall and said the cage
symbolized "not just the literal cage that 'illegal aliens' might be put in, but
there are many undocumented people at ASU who don't come out about their status
and they're in a psychological cage. It's a bad place to be."
About 40 students stopped to listen to Ramos, including Jenna Sperry, 21, of
"I understand that this is a problem, but also, there's a problem in driving up
insurance costs - like getting in a wreck with an undocumented person with no
Theater Professor David Coffman also stopped by and dropped some change on a
table set up beside the cage.
"I support any free expression of ideas," Coffman said. "There are students at
ASU who through no fault of their own are undocumented and are suffering from
other people's political posturing. We've had students stop coming to school
because of that."