The SPLC and the Latin GRAMMY Award-winning band Flor De Toloache launched a new song today whose lyrics teach immigrants about the rights they can exercise when interacting with law enforcement and immigration authorities.
The single, “El corrido de David y Goliat” – out now on Chulo Records – is available on all digital streaming platforms and for sale on iTunes. The video can be seen on the SPLC’s YouTube channel.
It’s the first release of the Immigrant Songs Initiative, which aims to reach immigrants who have little access to legal information. The song is being played on broadcast radio, with distribution tailored to focus on regions with high immigrant populations.
“Knowledge is power – the power to remain free and safe,” said Mary Bauer, director of the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project. “This incredible song by Flor de Toloache has the potential to empower a lot of immigrants in a creative way. We’ve seen too many cases where immigration officials have illegally and unfairly apprehended immigrants, disregarding their basic human rights. The more people know about their rights, the better.”
The song is a corrido, part of a popular narrative music genre that talks about oppression, the daily lives of poor people, and other socially relevant topics. Many corrido stories relate to the lives of people living near the border who deal with fear and abuse every day.
The song’s lyrics colorfully tell the story of an immigrant, “David,” who refuses to open his door to “Goliat,” who is leading an immigration raid on his home. Knowing his rights, David is aware that he does not have to let the agents inside because they have not produced a search warrant.
The agents knock down the door anyway, and they arrest everyone inside the home – including his wife and three sons – but the family refuses to answer any questions or sign any papers, even when threatened.
The story ends with the family being released, lawyers helping to stop the deportation process, and Goliat being fired.
Flor De Toloache is a New York-based, all-female band whose members hail from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the U.S.
At the 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards in 2017, Flor De Toloache took home its first Latin GRAMMY for best ranchero/mariachi album for the song, “Las Caras Lindas.” The group was nominated for best ranchero album in 2015.
The name of the group means “toloache flower,” a Mexican plant that is said to have magical, healing properties and has been used in love potions.
Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images