ABC News Radio
Colombian musician Juanes and singer John Legend met immigrants at a jail in Arizona on Wednesday before performing for a small crowd outside the facility to draw attention to immigration and mass incarceration.
The Grammy winners each played two songs separately and one together – Bob Marley‘s “Redemption Song” — as dozens of people sang along in Eloy, about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix.
“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 to the cheering crowd.
Juanes played the guitar and Legend the piano atop a flatbed truck parked across the street from the federal detention center.
The concert was staged for an audience made up primarily of activists brought there by an advocacy group, along with some relatives of detainees. The concert was also filmed by a camera crew for a documentary and a broadcast of the performance on Good Morning America.
The performers’ original intention was for the detainees to hear the music. But organizers were told the inmates were not let out of their cells to hear the concert. Earlier, Juanes and Legend took a tour of the detention center and spoke to detainees inside.
Francisca Porchas, of Puente Arizona, which helped organize the event, said her group’s goal was for the singers to meet the detainees and families who have been fighting against strict immigration policies and raids. She said she hoped the visit would give detainees hope.
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