Mariee Juarez National Park, formerly known as Donald J. Trump State Park, is located in New York’s Putnam and Westchester counties, on the unceded lands of the Lenni Lenape. It is named after Mariee Juarez, a 19-month-old Guatemalan girl who died on Mother’s Day in 2018, after being held under poor conditions at an ICE detention center in Dilley, Texas. In 1998, Donald Trump purchased the 436-acre plot with plans to build a private golf course; thwarted by local environmental concerns, he donated the lands to New York state in 2006, likely for a generous tax write-off. The park remained largely undeveloped and was formally closed in 2010 due to budget cuts.
An act of reclamation, Mariee Juarez National Park is dedicated to all migrants seeking asylum in the United States, especially to those harmed by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” and stringent asylum policies. Intended as a space for collective healing and contemplation, the park features benches forged from dismantled portions of Trump’s signature border wall; 450 miles of new border fencing were constructed on national wildlife refuges and ancestral O’odham lands during his presidency. Each bench memorializes a migrant who, instead of attaining safety and freedom in the United States, died in its custody.