Security and authority

Chavalo: A Safe Place

This is the dorm where I slept. This is my home today. I can spend the night here and I can be safe. We are in a safe place, we’re not sleeping out on the street or by the railroad. It is very difficult to be out on the street and on your own. Here at least you are with others and you are safe.

Lupe: I Don't Know If I Can Stay Here

So what are you going to do now?

I don’t know. If I stay here, well, that would be better, but it would be turning my back on my kids. And I cannot do that, because they’re my life. But if I try to go back and they catch me and they keep me in detention for a year, well, I don’t want that either, because then I won’t be able to be with my kids either. So I don’t know, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Fanny: Piangüa

The “piangüa” route started as an alternative source of income. In the beginning people were buying ‘piangüa to export to Ecuador. We started to look for a better solution, to open new paths in this business by ourselves, to make it our source of income. Then some people came here, they wanted to know how we harvest the piangüa, what the job looked like, and that is how we started it as an ecotourism activity.

Jorge: Once Again, We Are Left Out

close up of Jorge's face

When they announced there was going to be an immigration reform, we were happy. But when we saw what they offered, well… I’m glad that the law will maintain families united, but those of us who have no family, even if we have been here a long time, then we’re left out. If I’m not married, I don’t qualify. My friend has also never married, and doesn’t have kids. And he’s says: “once again, we are left out”.

Gilda: Indignation

immigration police officer overseeing undocumented immigrants

There is not a single day that goes by where I do not think about getting my permanent residency. This picture shows how I feel about the service of the immigration and citizenship. I feel that is a very unjust service. It’s a service that plays with the life and feelings of human beings… It is just politics playing with the feelings of human beings. They hurt you as if you were an enemy, so I am annoyed to think that there is a service that is supposed to be serving the laws and the people. I feel indignation.

Ventura: Who Knows How It Will Go?

seagull perched on railing on Seattle waterfront

If I go back to Guatemala, who knows how it will go? Here, I am undocumented, and there too. My brothers sent me my documents, and I went to the agency. I lacked a consular ID, birth certificate, a passport. I showed them my ID from the college on Broadway, but they didn’t give me anything. I went crazy because they wouldn’t give me anything. I was very sad, very depressed, abandoned, I lost my backpack, someone stole all of my documents.

Ramón: Political Convenience

Ramon leaning against brick wall

Migrants are what the politicians take and use when they find it convenient, and when it’s not convenient they kick us out. So the Republicans are like the wind: they move when it’s convenient for them and it goes back and forth, and same thing with the Democrats. I don’t understand much of that. I would like to understand it better. I don’t need the visa or citizenship. If they gave it to me for next week then I would go but if they offer it and it’s going to take three years or six years then by the time I get it maybe it’ll be to enter legally back into Mexico.