Miguel’s Now was released in 2017 during a time where the nation’s political tensions were heightened. In 2016, Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States. One of the platforms Trump ran on was building a wall along the Mexican-US border. The song references many remarks that Donald Trump made against immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and South America. The song directly relates to the issues of immigration that were going on throughout the nation.

In 2017, the Center of Immigration Studies reported there was a record of 44.5 million immigrants. With this number, there was also a lot of action taken against immigration by the Trump administration. In 2017, Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provided work authorization and relief from deportation to unauthorized immigrants, who came to the US as children. This led to the displacement of many families that were placed in the detention centers. During this presidency, ICE has been given the authority to deport anyone who may have had a criminal record, as a means of applying the law.

The last two years, there has been a rise in the population of detainees kept in detention centers in the US. There have been many reports of the poor conditions that immigrants detainees have to live in. Miguel attended a protest for immigration right in front of the Adelanto Detention Center. The center has had three detainees die, as well as multiple others commit suicide. Many people have gone on strikes to protest the inhumane treatment the detainees have received. This is only one of many detention centers around the nation that has had problems. There have been a reported 22 deaths in ICE detention centers during the last two years.

Miguel directly addresses the issue of immigration and building a wall in the opening lines of his song.

CEO of the free world now

Build your walls up high and wide

Make it rain to keep them out

That won’t change what we are inside

In the lyrics, he uses the term “CEO of the world” to reference the president and using the political system as a business. His last two phrases draw to the wall being an expensive business venture aimed at keeping people out of the US.

In another instance, Miguel talks about different issues that have not been tended to since Trump’s presidency. He names many policies that have been directed towards minoritized groups.

For all the people in Puerto Rico

Way down in Houston

For Flint, Michigan

For Standing Rock, oh!

Way down in New Orleans

For all the dreamers

The black lives that we’ve lost right now

Each of the sentences above speaks about a tragedy that is occurring in a place and affecting a minoritized group around the nation. Each of these calls out the administration to answer the calls of those in distress. Miguel used the song to address multiple issues through the avenue of Immigration.

Through this research, I am learning that there are many problems interwoven into one and look forward to diving deeper into the words and the purpose of the song.