Photo: California Artist Neil Rivas' "Illegal Superheroes" - Undocumented Comic Book Heroes
An Oakland, California artist is using comic book characters in his satirical poster campaign to address undocumented immigration.
Neil Rivas has created a number of posters depicting the characters such as Wolverine, Wonder Woman, Superman, Thor, and even Optimus Prime
Rivas uses the characters’ images on posters seemingly from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reading:
Super heroes who enter this country without proper authorization are breaking the law, plain and simple. The ‘illegal super heroes’ are subject to deportation at any time. Their very presence is in direct violation of federal law. To report an illegal super hero, contact the San Francisco ICE Field Office –ISH Department. Their area of responsibility covers Northern California, Hawaii, and Guam. Officers in these divisions are obligated by law to make records of any reported ‘illegal super hero activity.’
Below each hero is a number that when dialed, informs callers of what each superheroe’s status would be under U.S. immigration law.
Rivas’ “Illegal Superheroes” series, which has been shown at SOMArts’ Ramp Gallery, is a parody of real posters, but while it may be tongue-and-cheek, it highlights that not every one who is in the country illegally should be considered a criminal. Some of them might even save your life one day.
The mission of SOMArts is to promote and nurture art on the community level, and to foster an appreciation of and respect for all cultures. Founded in 1979, SOMArts embraces the entire spectrum of arts practice and cultural identity, and it is beloved in San Francisco as a truly multicultural, community-built space where cutting-edge events and counterculture commingle with traditional art forms.