Here is Amador. He is Cuban and though he has papers, I’m including him in the Undocumented project because really the title was always meant as a double entendre; and because the difference between him and someone without papers, seems so small as to be almost incidental. He’s lived the same life in shadows, worked the same factory-restaurant-cleaning jobs, been mistaken countless times on the street for someone without papers. He’s protested and marched both beside the paperless and on their behalf.
Born in Bautista’s Cuba four years before its end, Amador was raised in the infancy of The Revolution. In the ’80s, he went to Angola as a medic with Cuban troops fighting on the side of communist forces during that country’s endless civil war. Back in Cuba in the early 90s, he decided to come to America. His sister was dying of cancer in Florida. The small boat he and a handful of others took was picked up a few miles into the journey and Amador spent a year in Guantanamo, waiting, until he was finally released into the country. His sister died soon after their reunion and Amador left for Boston and then New York.