Welcome Not Welcome
This print addresses present-day border issues by looking back at US history.
Specifically, it addresses how workers from various parts of the world have often been
first welcomed into the US to fill dangerous occupations at low wages. The background photograph in the print is of four Chinese wheat harvesters in the San Fernando Valley in California in 1898. Despite helping to build the nation, Chinese workers faced tremendous discrimination from many lawmakers, unions, and working class European-Americans who failed to provide solidarity during a time of need. This hostile climate led to the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 that severely limited the number of Chinese immigrants allowed into the US and set restrictions for those who had already arrived. Throughout the twentieth century, industry and agribussiness have lobbied for borders to be open or closed depending on their needs, a pattern that has exploited immigrant workers and kept all working class people fighting each other -- distracted by xenophobia, nationalism, and racism while ignoring the motives of those at the top. This print advocates for a careful understanding of history and labor solidarity to help address present day struggles.
2 color silkscreen
16" x 21"