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June 16, 2019

Ford School discussion, photo exhibit to highlight impact of deportation

January 14, 2019

Ford School discussion, photo exhibit to highlight impact of deportation

Special section

Two Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy events will explore the recent deportation of Ann Arbor mother Lourdes Salazar Bautista and the impact of current U.S. immigration policy.

Bautista, the mother of three children, left Mexico in 1997 to join her husband in the U.S., and the couple eventually bought a house in Ann Arbor, where they raised their family. Both undocumented, they each found work, with Bautista cleaning houses and churches, according to The New York Times.

In 2010, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained Bautista but eventually agreed to allow her to stay in the United States with her children while they deported her husband.

But in 2017, authorities deported Bautista to Mexico with a 10-year re-entry ban.

A photography display by Denver-based visual journalist Rachel Woolf that captures Bautista and her family’s experience of deportation will go on display at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Great Hall at the Ford School’s Weill Hall. The viewing is free and open to the public.

Lourdes Salazar Bautista (left) and her daughter Pamela Quintana-Salazar, 19, hold one another at a meeting with anti-deportation campaign leaders at Bautista’s Ann Arbor home. (Photo by Rachel Woolf)

From 11:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 21, community members can participate in a strolling lunch at the exhibit. A panel discussion will follow at 12:15 p.m. in the Annenberg Auditorium on the recent history, impact and ramifications of current immigration policy. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, visit

Panelists will include Woolf; Knight-Wallace Fellow, Mexican journalist and asylum seeker Emilio Gutiérrez Soto; Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights co-founder Laura Sanders; and Fabiana Silva, assistant professor of public policy, Ford School.

The panel will be moderated by Ann Lin, associate professor of public policy, Ford School; and associate professor of political science, LSA.

Bautista’s experience is emblematic of the kinds of deportations occurring in the U.S. since the beginning of the Trump administration, Lin said.

The targeting of immigrants for deportation who are leading ordinary, productive lives and are contributing to their communities harkens back to the civil rights movement, where people of color encountered violence for simply wanting to live their lives and enjoy activities like eating at restaurants, riding on buses, and voting, Lin said.

“I think we have to ask ourselves: The law is legal but is it just? Is this the kind of America that we stand for?”