Sergio De La Torre and Chris Treggiari’s Sanctuary City Project focuses on telling stories of immigration in America.

The SCP is a research project that uses community engagement and social practice methods to create a dialogue surrounding sanctuary cities and immigration issues.


This timeline represents qualitative and quantitative research surrounding the sanctuary ordinance and immigration issues beginning in 1989, when San Francisco became a sanctuary city, until present day.


Over the past ten years artists Sergio De La Torre and Chris Treggiari have utilized primary and secondary research methods which have included talking with nonprofits and their constituents and civic institutions, as well as periodical, think-tank, and internet research. Through this process of collecting and researching, the artists then utilize engagement platforms to share their research and continue collection with the public.

Engagement platforms used have been interactive installations, public projections, mobile food projects, and mobile print shops. Through the combination of research and community engaged platforms the Sanctuary Print Shop hopes to educate and engage with participants and institutions, creating inclusive spaces where deeper dialogue surrounding sanctuary cities an immigration policy can take place. In the end, the artists’ process is one that allows for continued development of the methods and outcomes surrounding public conversations concerning sanctuary cities and immigration.



San Francisco passes the City of Refuge Ordinance (Sanctuary Ordinance) which prohibits City employees from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with immigration investigations or arrests unless such help is required by federal or state law or a warrant.


Operation Gatekeeper was a measure aimed at halting illegal immigration to the United States at the United States–Mexico border near San Diego, California. According to the INS, the goal is "to restore integrity and safety to the nation's busiest border."


Bush establishes the Office of Homeland Security (OHS). OHS manages the EPA Intelligence Enterprise and provides Agency-wide leadership and coordination for homeland security policy; including EPA’s planning, prevention, preparedness, and response for homeland security-related incidents


Secure Fence Act allows for over 700 miles of double-reinforced fence to be built along the border with Mexico, in the U.S. states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.


President Obama Signs Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to allow some undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay in the country.


The Obama administration has revived the undocumented immigrant “catch-and-release” policy of the Bush years, in which immigrants are released to a community while awaiting a hearing in immigration court. The policy officially ended in 2006 under President George W. Bush


Trump calls for zero-tolerance policy and family separation on the Mexican border.  The Trump administration began separating minor children from their parents who were crossing the border or seeking asylum.


Mobile Print Cart

The Sanctuary Mobile Print Cart, a mobile tricycle silkscreen (a transformed front-loader tricycle) will take to the streets to invite diverse community members to print and share custom signs. The newly created posters will be distributed and installed throughout the city.