The 45,000 Quilt Project Honors the People Held in ICE Detention

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On average, 45,000 people were forcibly held in ICE detention every day in 2019. Almost 2,000 children were stolen from their parents between April and May 2018. LGBTQ immigrants are 15 times more likely than other detainees to be sexually assaulted in confinement. This injustice, abuse, and criminalization at the hands of our country must be combatted; we cannot stand by as families are torn apart. 

The 45,000 Quilt Project brought together 60 activists and artists from 12 U.S. states and Oaxaca, Mexico, to create 45 quilt squares, each with 1,000 marks to represent 45,000 people unethically detained by ICE. In the tradition of the AIDS quilt and quilt-making as a form of activism, awareness, and healing, this quilt calls on us, our representatives, and our nation to do better to truly embody our ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all.

The quilt will be available to view in a masked and socially-distanced outdoor setting at the Visual Arts Center (210 Maud St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950) on April 16, 17, and 18 from 10:00am to 6:00pm. To learn more and to sign up to help, contact Michele Moe at

Organizations currently providing support for the project include: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Charlotte Harbor Council of the League of United Latin
American Citizens (Charlotte Harbor – LULAC); Indivisible Action Southwest Florida; ARAY; and the Charlotte County Democrats.

Photo by Karl Rabe

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Christopher Townsend is currently a writer for Allen Ellison’s campaign for US Senate for Florida.

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