11 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2021
    1. Anne: Yeah.Ben: Them shelters can't possibly hold all them people, they can't. And so, all these people running around—they're running around the monument right now—laying there around. I see them laying around, the same people laying on the streets. But here in Mexico City, it's not that bad. You go to the border and the border cities where all along the Texas border, those are main dumping grounds for ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]. All these border detentions that are on the border states, they're daily buses are driving and dumping people off. Detentions from up north, they wait until they fill up a plane, or planes, then they ship them. But here, they catch. It's every day they're dumping people. And there’s gotta be something done about that. I think that there's assistance for just about any and everything else. I do think that it would be in the best interest of the government to assist deportees that are coming back. It would probably save them a lot of money—it'd probably save them more to get them home and give them a little bit of cash, give them a bus ticket home to where they're from, and it would be a lot less expensive than all the chaos that's going on right now.Anne: Seems that the US also has really ignored the whole problem, the families that they're breaking up.Ben: Yeah.Anne: You've thought about that, in terms of US policy, ways that they can eliminate the hardship that your family is going through because you're here?Ben: Yeah.Anne: I mean not just the financial, emotional but everything. And it seems like it’s not even in the equation.Ben: Yes, that's true, that's not even in the equation. [Pause]. That's tough. But yes, I think [Pause] that [Pause] they're not looking at individual cases when looking at this immigration issue. I mean if they really, if the immigration person were really doing their job, then the judge did his job and really take the time to look at each individual case, some of these separations wouldn't happen. But they're not doing that, to me they're just trying to pile up numbers. I know many a case where…Just an example, one gentleman, taking care of his family, has residency, he's a legal resident. One DWI and it's over with, he's gone.Anne: He's a legal resident?Ben: A legal resident. One DWI and that's it, he's gone. And I've known of others that had up to three and they're still there. I know some that have felonies and they're still there. Then one DWI, that's not being fair. The biggest injustice I think is going after all these Dreamers and using the information that they filled out on their DACA paperwork to go track them down. I agree that there has to be some type of people should be picked up, but they're not chasing those people. They're going for the easy numbers because, you know what? Those guys they don't have paperwork where they can go pick them up, they’re not going to school here, going there. It's harder to catch them, so you know what? We can drum up 10-15,000 people right here, beef our numbers up. We got the addresses, let's just go get them.Ben: And that's kind of what they're doing, not really doing their job. Just to say that “We're doing something.” With 9/11, I remember that they, within the first few days, 20 something hundred arrests that they were attributing as terrorist arrests. But you know who they were picking up? They were picking up Mexicans most of them. It was not 20 something hundred Middle Easterners. But regardless, they were numbers. They had to show that they were doing something. But that's that [Chuckles].Ben: The US, there's a lot that they could be doing, because they can deport 100,000, but they know they gotta replace those 100,000 for the workforce. One thing I know is I know the ins and outs of labor in the US. That is one thing that I do know. And I do know that there's unwritten policies that look the other way, look the other way while we get this done. We need this done, look the other way. Hurricane Katrina was one, we had immigration, immigration was about the only police patrolling the area at the time and they weren't bothering anybody—it was hands off until they get this cleaned up. And once all the toxic clean-up was out of the way, then they started to enforce, but still not full force again.Ben: So, there's a lot to the government, part to blame there. Instead of locking them up, they should really create some type of labor program.Anne: People can come and go.Ben: People can come, instead of coming across and, to me, instead of somebody going to work over there and pay $6,000 to a coyote, they could pay $1,500 at a processing center to apply and get placed in a job by the US government legally. But you know what? US government don't wanna do that, because they want to keep them costs down. And so, does private business, they need to keep them costs down. It's like, would you like to pay $30 for a Big Mac? [Laughs].Anne: You’re saying that McDonald's is just using a lot of undocumented and paying them really?Ben: Well the whole concept of migrant labor, the migrant labor force, is to keep the cost of products down and housing as well. If it wasn't for migrant labor and this underground labor networks that are operating, a $250,000 house would've probably cost you a million. And a lot of people wouldn't be able to, a lot of people can't afford a $200,000 house [Chuckles].Anne: No. Well I thank you very much.Ben: Thank you all for coming, coming to help us out and spread the news.Anne: You’ve probably been asked this question, but do you consider yourself an American? A Mexican?Ben: You know, honestly deep inside, American. That's how I've always felt. But right now, after this happened, it's like have you ever, there was a book called The Man with No Country, are you familiar with that?Anne: Yeah.Ben: That's, when I was deported, that's the first thing that, that's what came to my mind, The Man with No Country, not here, not there, not accepted here, not accepted over there. And when I got here it's like, no paperwork, no drivers, no identification, and I had a harder time getting a driver's license, getting my voter registration—which is the main source of ID here—the toughest time here then I did getting ID in the United States. And I was illegal in the United States and I was able to, anything I needed, I could get over there. And here, I'm here, I had a hard time. It took me a few months.Anne: It's really too bad.Ben: Yeah. Kind of rough. I don't know if it had been easier here, in the big city, but over there it was pretty rough, hard getting around.Anne: Well, I wish you the best of luck.Ben: Oh, thank you—Anne: I think that you're, you think you're going to be fine, so I think you're going to be fine. And you must be very proud of your family, they seem really great.Ben: Oh, I am, they're going, they're moving forward, that was the purpose of heading that way.

      Reflections

    2. Ben: But over twenty, 22-23 years.Anne: 23 years? And were you worried about getting deported those 23 years?Ben: Right after my daughter was born, yes, every day, the thought would cross my mind. I had many brushes with Immigration, as we're in the construction business. Many times, job sites would get raided and the only thing was just to keep cool and walk straight up to them. Don't walk away from them, if I seen them walking this way, I walked towards them instead of walking away from them. I walked towards them.Anne: So, they probably, you being the head guy, they didn't think of you as much—Ben: No, but during the raids I don't think they had any idea of who was the head guy or not.Anne: Oh.Ben: Because a lot of the times, a lot of these raids, I was all covered in drywall, compound, white compound all over me, almost like if you got paint all over me. But I just wouldn't…I would just walk right up to them. And there was another gentleman—this was amazing because he didn't speak English. And there was three times these raids that Immigration come up and you're talking about over 10-11 people just scatter. He would never run; he would stay put. And one time he was up on a scaffold and immigration officer, it was one vehicle pulls up front and just one officer, I knew that everybody else were all around in the back because there was a big old wall.Anne: Yeah.Ben: And so, he finally gets out and comes inside the house and he walks right past me and that happened a couple times where they would just walk right past me, didn't even acknowledge that I was even there, nothing. I go, "Is God making me invisible?" [Chuckle]. It really felt like that because this time he didn't even acknowledge me, just walked right past me. He didn't see me. Anyhow, he walks up to this other person, he's on the scaffold and he goes, "[Spanish 00:27:11] papels hombre?” and from up there he goes, "Yeah.” And pulls out his wallet, left him alone. Walked away.Ben: And it was three times with that one person. And then after that last time that I was with him that happened, he goes, "Look at that, they're taking all these poor guys that don't want to go. I want to go back, I want a free ride back. But they don't want to take me.” And I spoke to a cousin of his, it’s probably been about three years ago, and I asked him about him, and he says, "To this day, he don't have his residency, he never got his papers.” He's living in Atlanta now by the way, or he was when I talked to his cousin. His cousin goes, "He's in Atlanta, but to this day he never got his papers and he's never been deported.” And I go, "Some people are lucky and some are not".

      Time in the US, Immigration status, Feelings, Fear, Legal status

  2. Jun 2021
    1. Because he was separating families. I remember just telling my mom, "I don't want to go back to school if that means putting you at risk, or putting one of my brothers at risk, I just don't want to go back." And since my father's deportation process was still—we were still going through that as well. I just had to go with my mom to a couple of hearings with her and translate what they were saying and all of the information and all of that.
    2. The fear. The constant fear, that actually came true [Chuckles], of your family members being deported or coming home from school because since I was underage, I kind of knew that I was safe from that because they weren't going to raid schools, like middle schools and stuff like that. But it was a constant fear of coming home and being told that, I don't know, your dad's not coming back or your mom's not coming back. And it did happen like that. Unfortunately, my father was working and he was raided. So he got taken away and then when I came back home one day from school, my mom told me. It was really hard.
    3. I knew the basics, but sometimes I'd start a conversation with a family member or somebody and then they'd start saying a couple of words that I didn't understand, and I would actually be like, "Oh, what does that mean?" A lot of people would say, "Oh, well it means this." But a lot of others would just laugh and they'd be like, "How could you not know Spanish if you're Mexican?" And it’s like, yeah, I'm Mexican. I know the basics but—I don't know, it was very confusing. My mom used to always say that we were kind of nomads because we weren't from the States. We were raised there but we're not from the States, but we weren't from Mexico either because we may have been born here, but we didn't know anything about it.
    1. Luisa: Her mother, I remember one time she's driving me home, and she asks extremely aggressively if I am illegal or not. And I remember being scared like a deer in the headlights. “No, I'm not. I'm not.” I was so scared of this mostly because one of my uncles saw somebody—an ex-girlfriend, I think it was, pretty much accused him of being illegal. He was deported and we had this huge thing in our heads that if somebody knew we were illegal, we were going to be deported and ripped away from everything that we knew. So I was not allowed to tell anyone.Luisa: To this day, none of my friends know that I had no papers. None of them. That's saying a lot because [Chuckles]—

      Time in the US, Homelife, Keeping Secrets; Time in the US, Discrimination/ Stigmatization

    1. Anita: So, what happened to you in the States? So that you ended up back here?Ivan: I was in the wrong car. So, I was in a car that, they pulled us over and I was just with the people, but they'd said that—well they found drugs in the car. So, they blamed me. But I was on the passenger side. So, I know that the rules is whoever's driving or the car owner has to be responsible. But they did not take it like that. They just said... I didn't want to give them my name because I was scared. So, they took me for that too, giving a false name. But on top of that they put all the charges on me. So, they charged me for all the drugs because they didn't want to take the charge.Anita: So, they charged you instead of the person who had the drugs?Ivan: Yes. Yes, that's true.Anita: Why'd they do that?Ivan: I don't know, but they did. They didn't want to take the charge. But I mean, I was just with them because I was going to Walmart to do a return and they stopped us in a traffic stop and they blamed it all on me. I was trying to fight my case, but it was taking too long. I was getting too stressed out being inside in jail so I just signed the papers. I just wanted to get out, so I just took the charge.

      explanation of how he ended up back in Mexico.

  3. May 2020
  4. Nov 2015
    1. Private violence supplements government efforts. Reported Arian Terrill, a DR aid worker, many of those who “voluntarily” depart for Haiti “are actually leaving under harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence by the security forces and Dominican street gangs acting as plainclothes proxies.”

      A description of the indiscriminate nature of the roundings up of Haitians in the Dominican during the current crisis.

  5. Oct 2015
    1. At the heart of the situation is an often-overlooked distinction between undocumented foreign workers who were recruited by the Dominican state or by companies, and those who crossed the border illegally and lack a valid visa. While every government has a sovereign right to document and count its foreign workers, in this case the process fails to distinguish between different categories of migrants: the unlawful and the undocumented.

      A look at the immigration/deportation conflict between the Dominican and Haiti, and the confusion many are undergoing, through personal stories.

    1. On the beach, the women stick around to direct their cargo to waiting tap-tap trucks, bound for nearby storage depots that act as hubs for the small retailers across southern Haiti that sell peasants their soap and staples. Then they head home for some well-earned rest. The women are known as Madam Saras. They’re familiar figures in Haiti, named for migrant Sara birds that line the country’s trees in chattering groups. In a nation filled with broken infrastructure and stalled development schemes, where the “informal sector” makes up eighty-five per cent of trade, the Madam Saras are crucial cogs. They’re responsible for getting produce from Haiti’s rural farmers to its cities, and getting goods from across the border to all Haitians. The job is hard, “but a good living,”

      Another glimpse into the active economic relationship between Haitians and Dominicans. The new tightening of migration laws through deportation on the part of the Dominican government, threatens the livelihood of these women. Not only are the laws threatening, but attitudes towards Haitians in the Republic worsen in an already hostile and prejudiced environment.