Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Faces of Immigration

Been covering several stories related to immigration issues over the last few weeks. I went out to the Imperial Valley for NBC Newsto cover Mexican Nationals who cross the border from Mexicali each morning to go work in the fields. It sounds pretty routine until you realize the wait each day can be up to 4 1/2 hours since Customs Agents are grossly short staffed. Most times, there only about 3 agents checking literally thousands of workers in who have to catch buses in Calexico. I was talking to a worker named Miguel who gets up at 2 every morning, waits in line for about 4 hours, then catches his bus around 7, works til 4, comes home, eats, then off to bed at 8 and then off again at 2. Now, you'd think he and the thousands of other folks who cross each morning would seem bitter, maybe angry and somewhat grouchy. I found it to be quite the contrary. With a kind, very easy smile on his face, Miguel had no qualms or second thoughts or resentment about his daily routine. For him it was a job and he seemed happy to do it. In fact, after I waited the 4 hours,and screaming and cursing in my head about the wait, I got over to Calexico and to my surprise, the scene was quite festive. It was pitch dark, you could faintly see hourdes of people waiting in dark parking lots for their rides and hear all kinds of chatter, laughing, whistling, eating, music blaring. It felt like a huge picnic or family reunion. It really adds perspective to the World I come from where we(myself included) bitch about having to get up at 7 and are sometimes asked to put in a little extra time on the job. I wouldn't last a week doing what they do. Here is a link to the story
The other set of images are from a few Dreamer protest marches in Tijuana and San Diego. There was a group of deportees and "Dreamers" who were protesting President Obama's deportation policy. Several groups over a week's span, turned themselves in at the border crossing, seeking asylum in an attempt to bring light to this issue. It just seems wrong if you are say, a 13 year old kid, born in the U.S., never been to Mexico, and Mom, who is illegal, gets caught at work,and the family gets deported. I do hope we can come up with a bi-partisan solution

No comments: