Local photographer illuminates the many faces of immigration
Theresa. Born in Mexico. Farm worker.
"I am from Vera Cruz, Mexico. I have been here for 15 years mostly doing farmwork.
I was a victim of domestic violence in Mexico. I had to leave my children with my mother and I have not seen them for fifteen years. ... I was five months pregnant with my last child and my husband bit off part of my nose. ... I left as soon as I could.
It was a difficult journey. I remember I was with a group of all men crossing a river. The nighttime patrol came by and I ran into a ditch and fell and broke my foot. The men helped me go back to Mexico to Cuidad Juarez. I had an operation there and was there for 3 months recovering. I had to pay back my expenses so they sent me as a runner to go and collect the money from the immigrants crossing for the coyotes. I was on crutches and had to carry a lot of money. I felt pretty vulnerable. It took 3 months of working to pay off my debt before I could come across.
I have a new husband and two young girls. I do not depend on any public assistance. I pay for my own way and my kids as well. I like the work that I do growing food.
Our life here is very tentative. I live with fear. I have young girls and if I get deported what will happen to them? I would like to be here legally and have some paperwork so we can work here but we can also go to Mexico and come back. We are not criminals. We are not here to hurt anyone."