To oppose the rising tide of discrimination aimed at the undocumented in the U.S., from Arizona’s racist SB1070 anti-immigrant law, to efforts by members of the U.S. Congress to overturn the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (which guarantees citizenship to children born on U.S. soil), Vallen republished his famous poster in August of 2010.
“No Human Being is Illegal” was first published as a bilingual street poster in 1988 in conjunction with a campaign conducted by the Los Angeles based Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), to secure the rights of undocumented Central American war refugees in the U.S. The 5,000 posters distributed popularized the slogan of “No Human Being is Illegal,” a catchphrase that has since entered the lexicon of today’s defenders of immigrant’s rights.
The poster’s axiom is an emphatic affirmation of the inherent rights possessed by humankind. It cautions that when individuals are stripped of humanity and designated as “illegal,” then even worse abuses cannot be far behind. Not so long ago it used to be said that a child born to unmarried parents was “illegitimate.” I am hopeful that in the future, the opinion that some people are “illegal aliens” will also become an archaic expression.
This graphic has donned many walls as well as articles of clothing. I stayed with many industrious punks in Mexico that reproduced this graphic on t-shirts & patches, long before I ever knew its original source. I’m now excited to get an original!
The 19.5″ x 22″ offset poster is available from his website for only $5!