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Superstars Juanes, John Legend Perform Outside Immigrant Detention Center In Arizona

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In an event organized by leading groups like the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Puente Human Rights Movement, and Dream Action Coalition, two superstars joined forces yesterday to raise awareness about immigrant detention in the United States.

Juanes, a Grammy-winning Colombian musician with more than 15 million albums sold, and John Legend, multi-platinum performer and winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Selma,” sang together outside the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona on Wednesday.

The center is currently holding about 1,500 detainees. Juanes and Legend toured the facility earlier during the day and had hoped to perform for detainees, but officials informed them detainees would not be allowed out of their cells. Juanes and Legend then instead performed outside the facility for a crowd of some 250.

“The reason why we’re here, one, is because we want to bear witness to what’s happening so we could tell the world about it,” Legend said.

“It’s very hard to understand that someone is deprived of their freedom unjustly, and that’s why we’re here with our music, with our culture, which is the strongest tool to bring attention and give a voice to those who don’t have one,” Juanes said in Spanish.

Juanes and Legend also met with immigrants formerly detained at Eloy to hear their personal stories, and to help raise awareness for those who are today detained.




At least one other person in Arizona was unable to meet with Juanes and Legend, though. The notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio noticed the two were in town and hoped for a meeting.

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