Mendoza’s face is featured on the Playas de Tijuana Mural. Her portrait—and those of five others whose lives have been upended by deportation—now appear at the edge of America’s border barrier on the beach between Tijuana and San Ysidro. Visitors can scan QR Codes to watch the people depicted on the mural tell their stories firsthand in videos. The mural is a community project conceived by Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana, as part of her dissertation at UC–Davis. The mural was completed in September, three years after Santana came up with the idea.
Santana said she wanted specifically to tell stories of those who had been removed by President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, which set records for the number of deportations that even the Trump administration has not surpassed. “Anyone is vulnerable to deportation if you’re a noncitizen,” Santana said.
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