Near a beach in Los Angeles, a Hispanic man dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit with a red blindfold, handcuffs and chains tied around his ankles stood next to a sign that read, “Meet an immigrant, do you really see me as a drug lord, rapist, criminal?”
Sergio Mejia said he did this experiment in response to Donald Trump’s recent controversial comments about Mexico and immigrants crossing the border.
“I came up with this idea for a video, only that I didn't know exactly what message I was trying to get across,” said Mejia on his YouTube comments. “I more just wanted to see who supported Donald Trump or not.”
But the results exceeded his expectations.
In the video, people go up and shake his hand, give him hugs and even provide him with water. Some just go up and give him a handshake while others say things like, “I’m an immigrant too,” “Just know that you are welcomed here, you’re not a drug lord or rapist,” “You’re a human being,” and “That impacted me more than anything today.”
The video donned “Meet an Immigrant (Donald Trump Experiment)” has surpassed over a million views on YouTube.
“I never thought it would have this effect on the community,” said Mejia in an interview with Telemundo. Mejia said that since he was blindfolded, he could sense the warmth from people's handshakes or when they took his hand.
Mejia said he is very familiar with the immigration process; his father was deported 10 years ago. Mejia would visit his father in a jail in Lancaster, California and see him in an orange jumpsuit similar to what he wore.
“So my dad was something else, an incredible man like many other immigrant fathers,” said Mejia on his YouTube comments. “So when society labeled him as a criminal, I saw through that label as a young child. And that is exactly what 'Meet An Immigrant' is all about.”