Volume 75, Number 9 | July 20- 26, 2005


Borderline personalities

Villager photos by Q. Sakamaki

East Village photographer Q. Sakamaki was on the Texas/Arizona border with Mexico recently to document the illegal immigration situation and protests and counterprotests about it. A group called the Minuteman Project opposed to illegal immigration drew 1,000 volunteers; from all 50 states to the border to help prevent illegal crossings by Mexicans and raise awareness of border security.

Counterprotesters backing leniency also were out in force. On this page, counterclockwise from top: near the U.S. border, a Mexican child walks through the slum of Altavista, many of whose residents work in maquilas, or factories, in the Juarez region, which despite NAFTA, continue to be low paying; Minuteman Project volunteers rally in front of the Border Patrol post in Naco, Ariz.; Mexicans who were leaving the border area of Sasabe, Ariz., by car, are arrested by the Border Patrol. Sasabe;. during a patrol at Hereford, Ariz., Mark Wilson, 46, a militia-style Minuteman Project volunteer from Nevada, rigs cans to make noise if the strings are tripped by illegally crossing Mexicans.

Opposite page, clockwise from top: Juan, 30, climbs the border fence, after having journeyed 30 days from Aguas Calientes — where he can only make $90 a month — to an illegal crossing point at Juarez, then waiting a month for a chance to enter the U.S.; a Minuteman Project volunteer scans the border in Naco for illegal immigrants; near the border at Naco, members of Women in Black, a human-rights advocacy organization, hold crosses with names of Mexicans who died crossing the desert trying to illegally enter the U.S.; on the Bridge of America, or so-called Freedom Bridge, Mexicans from Juarez hang out hoping to slip into the U.S. — although they are already on U.S. soil, the El Paso point of entry is at the north end of the bridge; Juan climbing the border fence.

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