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J. Carrier | Freelance | Washington D.C.
Bryan Van Der Beek
• VIEW STORY: In a field far from home •
Rooster, like many of the world's poor laborers set out three years ago at the age of 20, leaving behind his native Mexico and a land of limited possibility. He set out for America much the same as the Irish and Italians who came to this land in order to provide for their families. Unlike the early immigrants before him, Rooster and those who find themselves a part of the latest wave are here illegally. In a country that refuses to deal honestly with the effects of its own double standard immigration policies, he exists in an anonymous and transient space. He is an integral part in the backbone of America's labor force, but at the same time looked upon with suspicion and fear, derided as a cause for the loss of American jobs.
The reality is that Rooster and the other migrant workers represent a 10% demographic shift in the population of Louisiana, Missouri. Here to do the jobs no longer desired by Americans, as college and higher paying jobs are the norm, Rooster is able to send a little money home to his family to help put his younger brothers through school. Amazed that American children are provided with a free education, he explains that in Mexico families must pay. And so he works, in a field far from home, as much a part of Louisiana as the Mississippi is a part of America.
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