Statue of Liberty seen handcuffed by ICE in Las Vegas mural by British artist

'I thought it was a fitting time to scale it up'

Andrew Buncombe
Wednesday 14 August 2019 22:13 BST
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A mural showing the Statue of Liberty being handcuffed by immigration enforcement officers has been unveiled in Las Vegas, amid rancour and anger over Donald Trump’s harsh immigration policies.

The mural by British artist Izaac Zevalking, an immigrant who also uses the name Recycled Propaganda, is making the news a day after Mr Trump’s top immigration official suggested the poem that accompanies the iconic landmark – “Give me your tired and your poor” – ought to be amended.

Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of citizenship and immigration services, defended a new administration policy that makes its harder for people to enter or secure residency in the country if they require government aid, such as food stamps.

Artist Izaac Zevalking said he wanted people to think about the US being created by immigrants
Artist Izaac Zevalking said he wanted people to think about the US being created by immigrants (YouTube/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Asked about the statue’s words, penned by Emma Lazarus, Mr Cuccinelli appeared to suggest they needed updating, telling NPR: “Give me your tired and your poor – who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

In Las Vegas, Mr Zevalking said he felt it was time to update a design he first created 18 months ago on the side of a bail bonds shop on Main Street in the Arts District.

“I thought it was a fitting time to scale it up,” he told KTNT News of the mural, that shows Lady Liberty being handcuffed on the hood of a vehicle belonging to immigration officials and marked with their acronym, ICE.

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“I think it’s a good time in our country and our political environment to do stuff highlighting immigration.”

He added: “My purpose of doing what I did with the Statue of Liberty is to try and draw analogies with America’s past and how it was founded and how it was largely built by immigrants.

“To really make an analogy out of that so that people can apply that to contemporary society and contemporary issues a little bit more.”

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