Thursday, May 8, 2008
From writer, Roberto Lavato:
hope you're well.
Below please find my best effort to date to conceptualize the current immigration crisis. It's the product of
significant time spent in the Georgia and the deep south:
While centered in the South, the analysis therein is applicable to many if not most regions of the country.
Given the 66 deaths of migrants in ICE custody and the raids that now target even children, it
The Nation is translating it into Spanish and it will run in some Spanish language papers as a series as well.
It's part of a larger project.
New America Media
244 Madison Avenue, #149
New York, NY 10016
Justeen Mancha's dream of becoming a psychologist was born of the tropical heat and exploitation that have shaped farmworker life around Reidsville, Georgia, for centuries. The wiry, freckle-faced 17-year-old high school junior has toiled in drought-dry onion fields to help her mother, Maria Christina Martinez. But early one September morning in 2006, Mancha's dream was abruptly deferred.
From the living room of the battered trailer she and her mother call home, Mancha described what happened when she came out of the shower that morning. "My mother went out, and I was alone," she said. "I was getting ready for school, getting dressed, when I heard this noise. I thought it was my mother coming back." She went on in the Tex-Mex Spanish-inflected Georgia accent now heard throughout Dixie: "Some people were slamming car doors outside the trailer. I heard footsteps and then a loud boom and then somebody screaming, asking if we were 'illegals,' 'Mexicans.' These big men were standing in my living room holding guns. One man blocked my doorway. Another guy grabbed a gun on his side. I freaked out. 'Oh, my God!' I yelled."