MMC Student Artwork Impacts Family Immigration Case
When Gabriel Richardson ’21 walked into the February 2019 reception in the Hewitt Gallery of Art for MMC’s Senior Thesis Art Exhibition, he soon found what he describes as the “most emotional and captivating story in the exhibit.” He had stopped in front of Missing Moments, a collection of artwork by soon-to-graduate Itzamary Dominguez. The collection’s description outlined the artist’s personal connection to President Donald Trump’s Family Separation Policy, first enacted in April 2018. Dominguez’s husband, Victor, who immigrated to the United States from Ecuador when he was 18, had waited over a decade for the approval of his son’s visa. From an article by Richardson:
During the process of creating the drawings, Dominguez was trying to get [Victor’s] son’s U.S. Visa. She cared for [him] as if he were hers. Being able to travel, she had a meeting set-up in Ecuador which she thought would be the last meeting before Victor’s son could come to America. At the meeting, Immigration extended the waiting period because they needed more proof that the son had a real relationship with Dominguez. Coming back home, devastated, all she could do was draw with tears flowing down her face…Dominguez took photos of her artwork, along with other documents of proof, and sent them to Immigration, demanding that they reconsider the extension of the waiting period… Ever since, Dominguez has seen a considerable change in pace as she had received a call, not too long before the interview date…Dominguez believes they were moved by the artwork.
Richardson, moved by the delicate drawings of a father and son, sat down with the artist to discuss her collection and its inspiration, as well as the impact her drawings had on her stepson’s visa application, documenting her story in the short documentary below.