Political music need not be angry, loud or violent to get its point across. Such is the case with the moving ballad of “El Hielo (ICE)”, the new video for Los Angeles-based Chicano conjunto group La Santa Cecilia.
“El Hielo (ICE)” tells the story of a group of undocumented citizens who work at the same restaurant. Singer La Marisoul sings about their lives while director Alex Rivera, most famous for the independent hit “Sleep Dealer”, captures it all.
The video was produced as a collaboration with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the abc* (American Business Council) Foundation’s Healing Power of Music Initiative. More importantly, it features a cast composed of many undocumented immigrants whose stories are reflected in the video, thereby turning it into a type of short documentary.
For example, one of the leads is Erika Andiola. She became the face of DREAMers and the DREAM Act movement overnight when she took to the internet for help in saving her mother, Maria Arreola (who also appears in the video) and brother from deportation earlier this year. The immediate national outcry led to their return home at the last minute.
The same cannot be said for Katherine Figueroa who, at the age of nine, witnessed her parent’s arrest at the hands of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies. Their trial this summer could result in their deportation.
Immigration debate hits close to home for La Santa Cecilia
It’s also a very personal video for La Santa Cecilia member Jose “Pepe” Carlos who publicly reveals his status as an undocumented immigrant for the first time via the video. Carlos is a native of Oaxaca, Mexico who arrived in the U.S. at the age of six. President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action Plan on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a temporary solution to his troubles, much like many immigrants and he continues to fight for residential status.
Always a local darling, La Santa Cecilia began to attract national attention following some exposure on hit TV shows “Weeds” and “Entourage,” but it was an out-of-the-blue Latin Grammy nomination in 2011 that helped propel them to where they are today. La Santa Cecilia recently signed a deal with Universal Latino, which will release the band’s new album “Treinta Dias” featuring “El Hielo (ICE).”
La Santa Cecilia will make a few stops this week across the U.S. in support of the #not1more campaign and “El Hielo (ICE)” and will also make an appearance at the immigration rally in Washington D.C. this Wednesday.