La Santa Cecilia Song "ICE El Hielo": An InconvenientTruth About Immigration

PHOTO: Jose "Pepe" Carlos of La Santa Cecilia calling his attorney. He says his immigration status is holding him back from fulfilling his dreams with the band.
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The just-released music video from Los Angeles-based La Santa Cecilia shares the anguish that the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants experience in the United States because of their precarious status.

For the band members, "ICE El Hielo," is more than just a heartfelt song tells of their community. La Santa Cecilia's vocalist, Marisoul Hernandez, says that one of the characters in the music video for "ICE El Hielo" is based on her mother, Eva.

The song describes living in fear, where the most common challenge becomes a threat and hiccup could balloon into a deportation order.

El Hielo is Spanish for "ice," an acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that enforces federal immigration law. "ICE is loose on the street/ we never know when we'll be next," the Spanish lyrics go.

The song chorus sums up deportation and the resulting separation of families from an immigrant's perspective: "One stays here, the other there/All for going out to work."

In fact, Jose "Pepe" Carlos, La Santa Cecilia's accordion player and guitarist, is currently struggling to have his status fixed. He was brought to the United States when he was 5 years old. Now 30, he barely qualified for deferred action, a recent immigration that program grants some younger immigrants two-years reprieve from deportation along with a work permit. He was recently approved for deferred action but still faces challenges.

In the video above, Pepe opens up about his struggle in a very frank interview and the entire band members from La Santa Cecilia share their thoughts about the powerful message of the song and their art.

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