Mexican children play in support of deportees at LA Metropolitan Detention Center

Jesus plays Feliz Navidad

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

A band member named Jesus plays along to Feliz Navidad outside the Metropolitan Detention Center today, December 21, 2011.

Yulissa Maqueos Crying

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Yulissa Maqueos, 14, tears up while talking about her deported aunts and uncles.

Maqueos Music

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

The Maqueos Music band plays christmas songs for deportees outside of the LA Metropolitan Detention Center today, December 21, 2011.

Metropolitan Detention Center Federal Building

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

The Metropolitan Detention Center.

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Two drummers were the youngest of the group.

Yulissa Maqueos

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Maqueos, a clarinet player, dreams of going to The Juilliard School in New York City.

Feliz Navidad Sheet Music

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

The band played several holiday tunes in front of the deportation center.

Estanislao Maqueos

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Estanislao Maqueos, trumpet player and conductor of the Maqueos Music band.


A group of Mexican children between the ages of 5 and 16 raised their instruments in a chorus of holiday tunes outside the Metropolitan Detention Center on Alameda Street Wednesday morning. Representing Maqueos Music Academy, the band members played in support of deportees, some taking turns to speak in between songs.

Yulissa Maqueos, 14, daughter of the music academy director, said that several of her aunts and uncles have been deported. "I think what the government is doing is really unfair to other people, because it doesn’t let families stay together," she said. "Part of the big depression of everybody is that they're not together with family during holidays like Christmas, New Year's and all these celebrations."

Maqueos plays the clarinet and says she harbors dreams to go to the Juilliard School in New York City. "Knowing that I'm not born here just doesn't let me make my dream come true," she said.

The performance was not sanctioned by the center, and no deportation officials were present at the event to comment.

With contributions by Andrea Wang

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