Nov 11

Sit but don’t lie down

Took this picture of a day laborer taking a rest while waiting for work over the summer. When the police came by a little later, they told him to sit up.

Oct 11

An Immigrants’ Game

Here’s one from the vault. I took these photos and audio in the late summer and early fall of 2007, in what turned out to be my last days at my first newspaper gig. They are my first attempt both at a more long term project and at working with audio. When I left the paper, I felt that the work was incomplete, the audio terrible, and generally that it was not worth putting together. But time has a way of changing your feelings.
In all, I spent 11 afternoons with these mostly laborers in the rural New Jersey town where the paper was located. They would gather at the field each day after work and play for as long as the light would allow. The level of competition was really high, and occasionally a player or two from the local high school or middle school soccer team would join the fray, knowing it was the best game in town. As they played, they sometimes would yell the home country of a player, in place of his name, so that cries of “Ecuador” or “Argentino” would periodically be heard. I remember thinking what a contrast it was to the football or softball practices taking place in the nearby fields in this rural farmland of northwest New Jersey. Despite how they had arrived in America, or what their immigration status was, they were here, they were living. They were playing their game, and adding it to those other ones.

Dec 10

Dream a Little Dream

Last month Gloria and Esteban went to the local Post Office to apply for a passport for their one-year-old daughter, Jessica. Even though Esteban hasn’t been working much lately, they pulled together the $105 application fee and in another 2 to 4 weeks will receive in the mail that ultimate symbol of Jessica’s American citizenship. At that point she, unlike they, will be able to travel to Guatemala on a plane, without coyotes, or the risks of the desert.
Today the Dream Act, which would provide a way to citizenship for children brought to the U.S. by their migrant parents, is stalled in the U.S. Senate. If passed, which seems unlikely, it would make it so that those children, who have lived most of their lives in America, could become citizens after attending college for 2 years. For now, they, unlike, Jessica, are not entitled to a passport and the rights it represents.

Nov 10

March to Manhattan

Marching to Manhattan

This is my favorite photograph from a march across the Brooklyn bridge last month. The purpose of the rally was to bring attention to the fact that the city’s Department of Corrections often works with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in deporting people held in its facilities.