A Startling Cage With a ‘Body’ Shows Up on Central Park West

Photo by Max Finkel.

A cage with what looked like a child inside was placed on the sidewalk on Central Park West and 81st Street on Wednesday morning — one of several such cages placed throughout the city.

It was part of an installation by the nonprofit organization RAICES. And it surprised a lot of people who did not realize the bodies inside the cages were mannequins.

“The 25 cages installed around NYC were designed to highlight the grim conditions endured by children detained at the United States-Mexico border,” Gothamist reported. “In addition to the physical embodiment of incarcerated children, the cages also pipe out sound recordings that have been captured at detention centers.”

The NYPD covered the cages and removed them.

NEWS | 31 comments | permalink
    1. jezbel says:

      I appreciate the art installation. Art is meant to be provocative and this certainly did that. I have donated to RAICES and will continue to do so. Children in cages is an outrage. Adults being separated from their children at & near the border is equally as outrageous. This is an the America of our immigrant parents and grandparents any longer. I stand with RAICES.

      • Nene Juzgado says:

        Trump will claim executive privilege on the sound recordings from the detention centers, which he will further assert were ‘illegally captured’.

        Guerilla art is nice, but I stand with not wasting police resources.

      • Sherman says:

        @ jezbel-

        Someone who breaks into your home illegally is not a houseguest and someone who breaks into your country illegally should not be afforded the legal rights of an immigrant.

        My grandparents came here but they arrived in compliance with the laws of the time.

        The mere fact that these people are arriving from poor and dysfunctional countries does not mean they are automatically entitled to asylum here.

        The tragedy about this situation is that as long as liberals refuse to properly address the problems of illegal migrants the issue has been hijacked by the right wing.


        • Jen says:

          A lot of people in this country were legally admitted as refugees even though there was no threat to their lives. It was political pressure. These people came here solely for higher quality of life, not because they were in danger. However, a lot of very desperate and scared people flee their countries because theirs and their children lives is in danger. So we are supposed to send them back to their deaths? You want to repeat the sad history of Jewish refugees fleeing Germany in 1939 refused by both US in Canada?

          Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is right and vice verse. People with the heart are trying to change that.

        • SHG says:

          They are most certainly entitled to apply for asylum.

          • Sherman says:

            You’re correct.

            They should be entitled to apply for asylum.

            This doesn’t mean they should actually automatically be awarded asylum.

        • jezbel says:

          But it doesn’t mean the United States gets to separate children from parents, which is punitive. It doesn’t mean ICE gets to house them in cages & prisons, in out door tents with weather temps in excess of 90 degrees. It does mean they should be afforded the opportunity to apply for asylum and be treated like human beings. There have been too many child deaths. And several miscarriages in vulnerable women. They food they’re served is not nourishing, not enough fluids and they’re treated like animals. At the very least we should treat immigrants the same way we would like to be treated in another country.

        • Merrill says:


          Please save your illogical metaphor for the other websites/blogs you read.

          You’re not engaging with the ideas behind this protest. Instead you are quick to revert to rhetoric that is rooted in ignorance of history and veiled hatred.

          The installations, like the article, point out the inhumane ways in which refugees are being handled in government facilities along the border, which is caused by an unwillingness by BOTH of our political parties to truly grapple with immigration and the root of this migration of peoples.

          The treatment of these refugees in these centers is a separate, albeit tangential, issue from the resulting laws that would come from immigration reform. To conflate the two issues is to accept this treatment as somehow acceptable or a side effect of a broken system.

          Human rights violations are crimes regardless of party ideology.

        • Dolores Del Rio says:

          There is absolutely no justification to separate children from their parents unless its to rescue them from abuse — NONE NONE NONE. You can detain them as families. You can deport them from families. But you MUST not kidnap their children. Even the horrifying Japanese-American internment camps kept families intact. Now the Trump administration is planning to use those same facilities for kidnapped children.

        • Arlene says:

          My grandparents all came here legally as well. I totally agree with you Sherm.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            to all these people who are boasting about their “grandparents came here legally”:

            if your grandparents came after 1924 and before 1965, they were most likely granted REFUGEE status, and were lucky to get such status. I hope you know the issues with the US not accepting enough refugees before and during WWII. And it seems incredibly churlish to support the Trump policy towards refugees today.

            if your grandparents came here before 1924, there basically was no immigration process similar to today. if they came through the Port of NY and Ellis Island, like all of my grandparents, they were checked for turberculosis and some other things, given a name, and they were in. My grandfather went back and forth 6 or 7 times to bring wife and children, one aunt came by herself on a boat (in steerage, of course) and got in. Talk about chain immigration! SO please, let’s not adopt a superior attitude.

            Oh, and the immigrants of that era had to put up with discrimination and derogatory rumors — they were “criminals”, etc — just like immigrants today.

            • Jen says:

              Thank you. You managed to provide clear picture of immigration then and today to those self-righteous commentators claiming their grandparents “came in legally”.

      • Janice says:

        I agree. I’ve donated to RAICES as well and think it is immoral and outrageous that this is going on (not the art installation, which I think is great).

        I’m glad these are getting press and getting people talking. If they’re outraged, they should be.

    2. AC says:

      As a Mexican-American who travels frequently to Mexico, you’d be surprised how many times I’m offered money to pass off a kid, as my own. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of those ‘unreturned kids’ were travelling with strangers. I’m pretty sure their parents don’t even know where to begin looking.

      The media both here and in Mexico are great at exaggerating, and at times fabricating, conditions. When in Mexico and I tell people I live near Central Park, they gasp, because as far they hear , , , Central Park is place where people get mugged and sexually assaulted on a DAILY basis. But that’s what the media reports in Mexico.

      ps: putting all that aside, Kudos to the art exhibit.

      • wakeup says:

        The majority of human beings live in world that is vastly different from the one portrayed by every form of media.

      • lcnyc says:

        Who are you associating with? As a Mexican-American who frequently travels to Mexico, I’ve never once been asked to pass off another’s kid as my own.

    3. Rob says:

      Break our laws, and accept the consequences

      • SHG says:

        What laws are they breaking. They are legally allowed to enter the country and apply for asylum. They are being denied that right.

        • AC says:

          You’re allowed to enter and apply for asylum ONLY at Legal Entry points (I believe there are 50 bordering US/Mexico). Those being arrested, processed, and deported are immigrants who are entering at non-legal entry points. I am a US citizen, and I too would get arrested if I entered at a non legal entry point. Laws, while not always fair, are necessary in order to keep some kind of order.

          • Sarah says:

            “You’re allowed to enter and apply for asylum ONLY at Legal Entry points”

            This is a lie. There is no restriction in international law on right of asylum based on point of entry.

            Constantly amazed at how people will just mindlessly repeat claims without bothering to look into them.

            • AC says:

              Sarah, I believe you’re getting confused with those immigrants that enter via sea/ocean, wherein that case you are correct – if you reach mainland by any means (dinghy, raft, swimming, etc.) you’re allowed to apply for asylum. Border entry is different. If you enter the country at a non-legal port of entry, you’re automatically breaking the law, which negates your opportunity of applying for asylum (kind of explains why we have legal ports of entry). Check the government’s website, you’ll be amazed after all.

            • Westsidehag says:

              Actually, AC, Sarah is correct. Illegal entry doesn’t negate your ability to seek asylum. It just mean you’ve committed a misdemeanor, you may be imprisoned, and you also may still seek asylum.


            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Ac said:

              “Check the government’s website, you’ll be amazed after all.”

              Maybe it is you that will be amazed, because the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) web site is quite clear that Sarah has a correct understanding of the law:

              “To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process you must be physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status.

              You must apply for asylum within one year of the date of their last arrival in the United States… ”


              And… (Same page):

              “Affirmative asylum applicants are rarely detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). You may live in the United States while your application is pending before USCIS. If you are found ineligible, you can remain in the United States while your application is pending with the Immigration Judge. Most asylum applicants are not authorized to work.”

          • AC says:

            @westsidehag , , , thanks for the article. I’ve read it three times. It never really addressed the question, other than saying we’re a humanitarian country. When time permits on your end please quote a sentence or two. Thanks again for the article.

          • AC says:

            At Bruce, if you’re going to reference or quote, at least go to the correct section.

            What you are referencing is called “Affirmative Asylum Process” and is applicable to those who are present IN the United States.

            Sarah and I were discussing those entering illegally and requesting asylum. That process is called “Defensive Asylum Process Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)” and is applicable to those caught entering into the country illegally without proper docs at a port of entry or entering illegally without proper/legal documents.


            As you can see, the process varies, and if anything, I’d think we’d both (all) agree that the laws are complicated and are applicable to different scenarios.

            Notwithstanding the above, I think the solution (and no need to separate families) would be if all entering and requesting asylum would do so at a Legal Port of Entry (I’m talking about border areas). The idea of people just coming into the US undocumented and with no background checks is unthinkable. This is isn’t the early 1900’s anymore.

    4. BrownDog says:

      I support Jezebel’s comment. Regardless of the legality of the immigrants, it is shameful that we have created what are basically concentration camps populated with brown children.

      A little public protest and consciousness raising is a good thing.

    5. Ben David says:

      Thanks for forcing NYPD officers and supervisors to take valuable time (5+ hours) away from fighting real crime on the UWS. This immigration issue is already being fought against daily in Congress, but hope they had fun putting on this show.

    6. Shirley Ariker says:

      Hurray for those people shocking us into confronting us with what is happening on our borders.

    7. Here’s video I shot of a similar cage on Broadway at W. 115th St. before NYPD got to it: https://twitter.com/translationista/status/1139629827726729216
      And some more detailed pix:

    8. JeryV says:

      I am conflicted in my thinking. On the one hand, we are all descendants of immigrants (except for the Native Americans who were here first and the Africans who were transported here in chains). So, immigrants have built America. However, most came when there were more jobs for unskilled labor and more living room. With climate change it will get much, much worse. There will be more droughts and flooding with starving people people being forced to flee and wander the earth. Overpopulation is generally not mentioned but, as a start, those religions that encourage their people to have more and more children will need to rethink their theology.

      • Jen says:

        USA will be one of these countries. Why don’t you start your preaching with your homeland. Plenty of ethnic/religious groups have lots of children they cannot support. Start there if you think it is a worthy point. I personally don’t think having children should be treated as luxury. Responsibility yes, luxury no.