I’ve met so many fascinating people over the past month traveling to Texas, Iowa and New Hampshire to report on various immigration issues and how they intersect with the Republican presidential contest.
In Brownsville, Texas, I met with Eloisa Tamez, pictured above, and other local landowners whose land was seized by the federal government to make way for several hundred miles of border fence. Because a treaty prevents the U.S. from building anything in the floodplain of the snaky Rio Grande, the government erected the border fence up to two miles north of the river, trapping some Texans on what they refer to as the “Mexican” side of the fence.
In Postville, Iowa, I checked in on the tiny and incredibly diverse town nearly four years after a massive immigration raid at the local meatpacking plant deported a fifth of Postville’s population.
I got to dust off my Spanish this week when I interviewed two illegal immigrants who live in Milford, Massachusetts–a small town that’s been upended by a drunk driving tragedy.
After an Ecuadoran man was charged with driving drunk and without a license when he ran into and killed a local motorcyclist in August, other Ecuadorans in the town say they’ve become the target of insults and hostility. The immigrants primarily work in service jobs or in dangerous roofing jobs. This is what one of them had to say:
A weirdly large portion of my job is explaining the internet to people who read my posts and email me with their problems in all-caps. I know a lot of my coworkers ignore these emails, but I NEVER do. I just can’t.
Which is why I answered this missive:
Because I just have so many thoughts and feelings to share that a full-time reporting/blogging job isn’t enough.